Founder and CEO of Legacy Crop Improvement Centre (LCIC) has advised farmers to adopt new agricultural technologies and improved seeds to counter the adverse effects of climatic conditions.
Amos Rutherford Azinu said improved hybrid seeds can deliver state of the art technology to farmers: higher yields, disease and pest resistance, climate change adaptation, improved nutrition and longer shelf life.
He said this during a Food & Nutrition Security Seminar on the Theme: “Enhancing Hybrid Seed Commercialization in Ghana: The Role of Private Sector in Early Generation Seed (EGS) Production” here in Accra.
The Food & Nutrition Security Seminar Series was organized by the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) University of Ghana.
Mr. Rutherford is also a PhD candidate with the Department of the Crop Science the University, working on the development of drought tolerant “Pro Vitamin A” maize hybrids.
"The economic impact of bad climatic conditions has been projected to cost local farmers several thousands of Ghana cedis, the amount is spent on agrochemicals to control the increasing number of pest infestations," he said.
He charged farmers to adopt innovative strategies to minimize the impact of Fall Armyworm, noting the blitz has come to stay so the earlier such preventive measures are sought the better.
The CEO of Legacy Crop Improvement Centre highlighted the need for growers to resort to improved seeds varieties, resistant to the Fall Army Worms and other harmful pests to help improve Ghana’s agricultural sector and ensure food security and boost the economic status of farmers.
He stated that such an impending global tsunami forced him to established a private seed enterprise, LCIC, in Koforidua which is specialized in production and marketing of foundation seeds since 2015.
According to him, the Centre is currently the only private company in Ghana involved in hybrid foundation seed production and marketing.
The company operates a 15-acre drip irrigation farm for in-house breeding and line maintenance and has a 30 tons capacity gene bank with the cold storage facility and delivers high-quality basic seeds to commercial certified seed companies in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali" he mentioned.
On his part, President National Seed Trade Association Of Ghana, Thomas Havor, noted that the rural agriculture economy of Ghana is estimated to be operating only at 20% of its potential.
He believes this has been their drawback in adequately addressing poverty reduction and food insecurity.
“This is because the sector continues to consist mainly of smallholder farmers using unimproved seeds, fake chemical fertilizers, and have no irrigation facility,” he said.
The Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) 2018 report cited by this reporter quoted that Ghana imports food from all over the world to help meet its domestic need.
It revealed that Ghana’s major trading partners in include Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America.
The report added Trade data from the U.S. Census Bureau which indicated that the value of U.S. agricultural exports to Ghana in 2017 was $103.1 million, an increase of about 49 per cent as compared to that recorded in 2016 ($69 million).
Mr. Havor state that "the way forward is inclusive governance and transparency at all levels will do the magic for Ghana" reports Nana Yaw Reuben Jnr.
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