The Ghana Early Generation Seed (EGS) Consortium for Sustainable Production of Quality Seeds Project was officially launched on Thursday, December 3, 2020. The Consortium, led by the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) is made up of other key partners including CSIR-Crop Research Institute (CRI), CSIR-Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), Legacy Crop Improvement Centre (LCIC), and the Integrated Water Management and Agricultural Development Ghana Limited (IWAD).
The project, which received funding from the USAID Ghana Mission through an award from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), aims to produce both breeder and foundation seeds for major crop value chains including maize, groundnut, soybean and cowpea. The Consortium will also establish seed production research fields and demonstration plots to promote the improved crop varieties to farmers and other stakeholders. Furthermore, it will conduct specialized training sessions for seed producers. In partnership with the Certified Seed Consortium and the National Seed Trade Association of Ghana (NASTAG), quality certified seeds are expected to reach an estimated 300,000 smallholder farmers in the major food insecure zones in Ghana: Upper East, Upper West, Northern, North-East and Savannah Regions.
In his opening remarks at the launch, Professor Eric Yirenkyi Danquah, the Director of WACCI and the Principal Investigator for the Consortium, stressed on its desire to deliver quality seeds to farmers, as well as equip other key actors along the value chain with the required knowledge and skills needed. He further commended the Government of Ghana and the Legislature for passing the Plant Variety Protection Bill in November 2020 and expressed his hope for more innovation through strategic partnerships. “I hope we can open conversations on how the full potential of the so many excellent scientists and private partners in the nation could be exploited for national gain”, he said. Boaz Keizire, Head of Policy & Advocacy at AGRA, assured the Consortium of AGRA’s continuous support and extended their gratitude to USAID and other partners. He remained confident of Ghana’s approach to seed development in improving Ghana’s seed value chain.