A Public-Private Consortium (PPC) led by the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) has been awarded a grant of $600,000 to generate a total of 15.2MT of breeder seed and 116MT of foundation seed of selected crops (maize, soybean, cowpea and groundnuts) to meet the demand of quality seeds for planting in the country.
The project titled “Ghana Early Generation Seed Consortium for Sustainable Production of Quality Seeds” will deliver high quality early generation seeds of maize, cowpea, groundnut and soybean, to be distributed to 300,000 smallholder farmers in Northern Ghana. This will increase productivity through provision of high-quality certified seeds from the breeder and foundation seed of maize, soybean, cowpea and groundnuts. The consortium will also establish seed production research fields and demonstration plots to promote the improved varieties of the crops to farmers and other stakeholders. In addition, the PPC will conduct training for seed producers to ensure the maintenance of pure seeds.
Maize (left) and Cowpea (right)
The Principal Investigator and Director of WACCI, Prof. Eric Danquah acknowledged that development of these quality seeds was as a result of teamwork coordinated by Prof. Pangirayi Tongoona, Dr. Beatrice Ifie and Dr. John Eleblu of WACCI and Dr. John Manful, an AGRA Consultant. He noted that “we cannot address the food security challenge in the sub-region if we do not invest in the development of quality breeder and foundation seed. The ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ flagship programme of the government of Ghana will be a mirage if we do not become self-reliant in quality seeds for planting”. The AGRA Regional Head for West Africa, Mr. Forster Boateng commended the Consortium for the quality of the proposal and encouraged the team to strive to meet the project deliverables.
Soybean (Left) and Groundnut (Right)
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu who signed the agreement on behalf of the WACCI-led Consortium partners said he was delighted that WACCI had engaged public and private partners to address an urgent challenge in the agricultural value chain.
The Consortium is made up of WACCI, Crops Research Institute (CRI), Fumesua and Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), Nyankpala of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Legacy Crop Improvement Centre (LCIC), Koforidua and Integrated Water and Agricultural Development (IWAD), Accra. The grant, funded by USAID is an award from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and its partners under the Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA).