The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) of Ghana has been called upon to permit private seed producers to produce foundation seeds in conformity with the plant and fertilizer act of the country.
The farmers argued that, though the laws of the country permit them to produce foundation seeds, all applications to MOFA for permit had not been granted.
The appeal was made at a workshop organized by the West Africa Seed Program(WASP) for 36 selected players in the seed valued chain, to train them on how to run their businesses effectively to enable them participate in the West African Seed business.
The participants called on the research institutions to maintain the breeder culture of the various seeds and to come out with high yielding maize seeds varieties that could help sustain the seed industry in the face of rapid increases in agricultural inputs like fertilizers, weedicides, insecticides and farm labour.
The participants also called for early meeting of the Seed Council to review the prices of certified seeds to conform to the current cost of production to motivate more players to invest in the seed business for the country to meet its seed needs.
Mr Josh Glover-Tay, a consultant to the project, called on seed producers to move from individual businesses to form strong associations with well-established structures and policies to support the sale of their products.
He explained that this is one of the steps that could help them to be effective and strong when it came to business negotiations.
Dr Solomon Gyan Ansah, the National Seed Specialist of the WASP, said at the end of the workshop, the participants would be required to come out with business plans and the best five, would be supported to expand their businesses on a pilot project.
He said seed producers who would enjoy any support from the project, would be required to conform to safety standards and all the environmental regulations on the country with regard to the production of seeds.
Mr Thomas Havoh, the National Secretary of the Seed Producers Association of Ghana (SEEDPAG), urged the participants to share their experiences with other farmers and members of their associations as a way of supporting efforts to reduce agro-chemical adulteration and faking in the country.
Mr Patrick Apullah, the National President of SEEDPAG, urged the participants to organize meetings for other members of the association in their regions to share the knowledge they have acquired.
He thanked WASP for introducing seed producers to the West African Seed market and called on members of SEEDPAG to comply with the required standards that would make them major players in the seed industry in the sub-region.