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Seed companies launch umbrella body

Posted by Hima Published on Mon, 2017-09-11 06:55

News article

Mon, 2017-09-11 (All day)
Graphic Online

Seed companies launch umbrella body

The  National Seed Trade Association of Ghana (NASTAG), a body comprising all  value chain actors in the seed industry, has been launched in Accra to help build food security in the country.

The association, which is an umbrella organisation of 32 seed companies, ultimately aims at contributing to enhancing agricultural production that will improve farmers’ livelihoods and the overall development of the agricultural sector.

It has, therefore, positioned itself to support seed industry players to develop their niche to the fullest for mutual and collective benefits. 

Improve  seed

In a speech read on his behalf at the launch in Accra last Friday, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said promoting the growth of the seed industry was crucial to transforming the agricultural sector, since quality certified seeds had the potential to boost agricultural productivity.

He said improved seeds also had the potential to enhance food and nutrition security in the country.

Hitherto, he said, the seed industry was dominated by the public sector but presently there was a growing recognition of the need to increase private  sector participation in the industry.

He said the establishment of a national  seed industry association offered the government and the private sector a unique platform for meaningful interaction to collectively address the challenges and constraints affecting the seed sector.

Dr Akoto noted that the collaboration would assist in harnessing resources towards reaping the fullest potential of the seed industry.

Seed regulation

Dr Akoto said the yet-to-be-passed Ghana Seed Regulation and other relevant legislative instruments were aimed at streamlining the policy and regulatory framework to enhance the environment for increased  private sector investment.

The acting Economic Growth Office Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), MsJenna Tajchman, said seed quality was a major constraint in most agricultural value chains in Ghana and the limited availability of certified seeds restricted the country’s ability to overcome climate change and agricultural challenges which threatened food security.

She said the USAID was prepared to improve the seed sector, which is critical to Ghana’s economic growth