One of the major components of farming is access to quality seeds which is vital to the drive towards increased agricultural production to achieve national food security and sustainable incomes for the farmers.
In view of the above, an agriculture expert and farm manager for Green Helban Enterprise, Collins Tano has strongly advised small-scale farmers against planting just any seedling on their farms because it is free or cheap.
In a conversation with The Ghanaian Farmer TV Show on Joy Prime, Mr Tano highlighted the importance of buying improved seedlings and or undergoing training on the best ways to nurse your seedlings for planting.
“If you don’t know anything about nursing seedlings before planting the crops, don’t try to do it, else you will regret it later. Even if you know about it, you have to go through the necessary training in order to produce the right seedlings for a good yield,” he told host Enyonam in Mampong, Ashanti Region.
Even though the government’s introduction of Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ)’ programme, is to fight against poor farming practices, farmer access to improved-high yielding and disease resistant seeds, is a challenge, especially in the hinterlands.
Mr Collins Tano, who has expertise in varieties of seedlings production, disclosed that the majority of small-holder and even some large scale farmers continue to source seeds through informal channels such as seeds saved by farmers, seeds exchange among farmers or the local grain market.
He bemoaned the practice and said the use of farmer-produced seeds has not been helpful to increased crop yield due to poor inherent genetic and physical qualities of seed and their susceptibility to pest and disease infestations.
Access to quality and improved local seeds remain key to sustaining Planting for Food and Jobs intervention to help boost food security through enhanced productivity and to reduce the risk of pest and disease attacks.
The farm manager for Green Helban Enterprise, Collins Tano also shared some important tips with The Ghanaian Farmer Show on the best practices of nursing seedlings especially cocoa.
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