The National Seed Trade Association of Ghana (NASTAG) has appealed to the Government to extensively engage the association in formulating policies on seeds.
According to the Association, government’s level of engagement with them in most decisions in the seed productivity value chain was very little and worrying.
Dr Amos Rutherford Azinu, President of NASTAG, indicated that most of the hybrid seeds for the government’s “Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) initiative were imported into the country, a situation he described as unacceptable.
“We expect that at least 90 per cent of the hybrid seeds are produced locally to take the pressure off the Ghanaian currency.
The association wants to be recognised as a hub for the seed market, so policymakers should involve us on seed productivity issues,” the President lamented.
Dr Azinu who was speaking at NASTAG’s 7th Annual General Meeting held in Kumasi, underscored the important roles good seeds played in agricultural productivity, adding that without good seeds other agricultural inputs like fertilizer, insecticides and pesticides would not be beneficial to the farmer.
The meeting was held on the theme, “Partnership for Growth and Sustainability.”
It was used to forge ways to build stronger corporations among the seed traders and seed sector in Ghana as well as to discuss issues pertinent within business operations.
The President pledged that the association would work with all relevant stakeholders to deliver high quality seed to the farmers.
Also, in addressing climate issues the association would equip farmers with climate-smart technologies to produce products that were environmentally adaptable.
He explained that most farmers did not have irrigation facilities and if there was limited rainfall, the farmers should still be able to make good harvest with the right technologies in place.
Mrs. Augusta Nyamadi-Clottey, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), NASTAG, said a close working relationship between the association and the Government in terms of seed production would grow the industry and agricultural productivity in general to ensure food security.
The association, she said, was committed to support the Government in terms of policy implementation for the benefit of farmers and the agricultural sector.
New executives to steer the affairs of the association were elected during the meeting.
They are Dr. Amos Rutherford Azinu, President, Ms. Elorm Goh, Vice President, Mr. Andrew Nii Adjetey, Treasurer, Mr Abukari Zakaria Northern Zone Representative, Mr. Oxford Agboli, Southern Zone Representative and Dr. Yaw Gyau Ayereko, Middle Zone Representative.