Among the four seed processing factories in Ghana, the Grains and Legumes Development company in Winneba is the biggest of all.
The company was doing well until the government ordered all public institutions to move from postpaid to prepaid electricity meters in 2014, farmers only had to cater for the service charge of GHc5 per 45kg of maize.
The process of shelling, drying and testing fall under the service fee, which now stands at GHc8 per 45 kg bag. This might seem like a peanut but for a farmer who produces about a hundred bags or more, it is a lot of money. However, this is the least of worries for the farmers.
The cold-room is the final and most expensive process of all. If the required temperature of 15 degrees is not maintained here for a month, the seed might not pass the test.
The monthly cost of power per a 5,000 bag capacity cold room is 5,000 cedis. Meaning storage per bag is GHc1.
However the lesser the number of bags, the more the cost per farmer. This has been a big hindrance to many farmers, thereby reducing the annual average number of farmers (seed producers) from over thirty to fifty.
The solution suggested by experts to salvage the situation? - Solar Energy.
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