Friday, August 14, 2015

Walter Nunez-Rodriguez
Chief of Party for USAID Ghana, Walter Nunez-Rodriguez, says with the inception of the National Seed Policy, the seed industry in Ghana will attract foreign investments.

According to the Chief of Party, the USAID has been working closely with the National Seed Council (NSC) to provide assistance to improve the seed industry and increase investment in that sector.

Speaking to Nii Ogbamey Tetteh at an inception workshop for NSC in Accra recently, Mr. Nunez-Rodriguez stated that Ghana is well positioned to meet the needs of countries in Europe, as well as US through the seed industry.

“Ghana has the potential to attract foreign investments for seed adaptation and variety release, among others. We are working and would be working with the NSC on strengthening those regulations to actually improve the environment to increase private sector investment. But of course, it is up to Ghanaians to develop that potential,” he said.

The NSC has been mandated to oversee the implementation of the National Seed Policy, (Seed Act 803, 2010) and regulations concerning the seed industry in Ghana.

NSC’s board, chaired by the Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), has been mandated to regulate and provide guidance for seeds development in Ghana.

“Our task is basically to support the technical knowledge of the law and respond to the demands to comply with the roles as provided by the law. We are also here to support and provide assistance to ensure that the NSC does what the law wants you to do.

“But the most important area of support has to do with capacity building with training, providing technical assistance to access compliance with the law to device mechanisms to improve seeds development. Part of the objectives of this event has to do with identifying those technical needs,” Mr. Nunez-Rodriguez said.

Emmanuel Asante-Krobea, Director of Crop Services at MoFA, said the policy would address bottlenecks in the seed sector, as well as tackle some fraudulent activities in the sector.

“As we develop as a nation, we really look at gaps and things that we have to take into consideration and find solutions to these so that development can go on smoothly. One area which we were lacking as a nation was that we didn’t have a policy in place to guide the seed industry,” he said.

He added that the policy would also make the entire seed value chain efficient.

“When we say seed value chain, we are looking at the farmer who grows it, the researcher who breeds it to the one who markets it. All these people have challenges within their work environment.

“Efforts have been made to ensure that farmers get good seeds to plant so that the yields would be good and economically viable. It means there should be some guiding principles and these guiding principles are what we have put together into a document and referred to it as seed policy. It is to guide all stakeholders in the seed industry –both public and private,” he said.

He disclosed that the policy would ensure that farmers obtain very good seeds to plant to boost yield.

“Their production would be cost-effective and they would be able to make much income. It will also help us as a nation to ensure that we are food secure. That is exactly what the seed policy document wants to achieve,” he said.

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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

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