12 February 2019

Ghana to Produce Seedlings for International Market - Agric Minister

Ghana is set to expand its agricultural economy by producing six seedlings for the international market, the Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto has said.

Cashew, coconut, oil palm, rubber, mango and coffee seedlings are amongst the variety of crops targeted under the initiative aligned with the Planting for Food and Export (PFE) programme, according to the Minister.

He was speaking at the opening of the maiden workshop on the Seed Knowledge Gateway (SKG) Project here on Monday. The four-day event is being attended by stakeholders in the seed industry across the globe.

The SKG project seeks, among other things, to provide stakeholders in the sector with data and information to significantly impact on food and nutrition security in Africa.

The event is being organised by Africa Seeds, the implementing agency of the African Union (AU) in-charge of the implementation of the African Seed and Biotechnology Programme (ASBP)

Delving further into the production of the six seedlings, Dr Akoto said the initiative would target municipal and district chief executives in all regions to produce at least four or five of the six crop seedlings.

He noted that in 2018, 9.3 million seedlings were produced and in 2019 the target for the ministry was to hit 22 million saying the figures might exceed expectations as MMDCEs were corporative.

"In the next four years we would have been established in the capacity to produce enough output for export and earn more foreign exchange from other seedlings aside from cocoa," he stressed.

The Executive Director of Africa Seeds, Dr Kouame Miezan said seeds were the farmers' most precious resource; hence the need to provide quality seeds to sustain and improve agricultural transformation and production in Africa.

He said to maximise the impact of the production of quality seedlings, a strong and effective seed sector could contribute to the achievement of agricultural advancement in Africa as it could eliminate poverty and hunger.

Dr Miezan noted that to ensure inclusive growth of the sector, information played a vital role as it informed smart decision-making.

At the event, Africa Seeds conferred the minister to the position of a Seed Champion in Africa for his immense role in PFJ since 2017.

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