The Ministry of Food and Agriculture in Ghana is to step up efforts at assisting farmers to gain access to technologically-improved seeds and planting materials.
At the opening of the workshop on “Technology dissemination action plan workshop” in Kumasi, the Minister of Agriculture Mr. Clement Humado, said the goal was to boost crop yield to enhance national food security and agricultural colleges and the demonstration and research field stations across the country would now be used as seed multiplication centres.
The workshop is being organized by the West African Agricultural Productivity Project (WAAPP) to develop workable action plans to speed up the transfer of generated technologies to farmers. Participants include Research scientists from the universities, research institutions, district agriculture directors, extension officers and agricultural communication specialists.
Mr. Humado lamented that in spite of achievements of the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) in the development of proven agricultural technologies, the rate of adoption by farmers remained low. This had continued to render the productivity of the farmers’ low/poor relative to reported yields on researcher-managed fields. This has to change.
Private sector participation in the multiplication of quality seeds and planting materials had not yielded fruitful dividends as regards high crop yields neither had seed distribution been highly effective.
The minister urged participants to reverse this trend. The private sector was charged to be more proactive and actively involved in seed multiplication and distribution while the Ministry of Agriculture will create an enabling environment that would ensure that farmers everywhere had access to high yielding seeds and planting materials.
The importance of adopting the value chain approach in seed production and distribution was emphasized in addition to the nucleus-out grower farm model in promoting selected commodities since it provided real opportunity for technology transfer and adoption, financing, marketing and value addition.
In her contribution, the Deputy Director General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr. Mrs Rose Emma M. Entsua-Mensah, said dissemination of proven agricultural technologies to farmers had been the bane to the nation’s food security efforts.
She called on the government to strengthen the extension services machinery to promote efficient dissemination of research knowledge and information to farmers.
Adapted from Ghana News Agency (GNA)