Investment in Good Seed Business Will Improve Food Security - Dan Acquaye

Government has been urged to pay particular attention to the seed production and distribution sub-sector of the agribusiness industry in Ghana, given its implications for food security in the country.

Though the agriculture industry still remains the single largest employer in Ghana, yields over the past years have consistently come short of the required targets to feed the growing population.

To improve yields and food security, while cutting back on the 1.5 billion the country already spends on importing basic foods each year, there needs to be some significant investment in the seed production and distribution business in Ghana as a crucial part of the larger effort towards agriculture mechanisation.

This was discussed at a 2-day Entrepreneurship for Commercial Seed Incubation Business (ECOSIB) training programme in Kumasi, organised by Agri-Impact Consult together with its international partners.

Dan Acquaye, the Executive Director of Agri-Impact Consult, said Africa imports over $50 billion of foods annually and “there exists enormous opportunities for joint business growth and development in Africa if governments double investment in the seed sector and adopt innovative technologies and support policies that will create space for the private sector to improve productivity and provide opportunities for the youth, thereby, reducing unemployment in Africa.

He believes it is time for innovation in the seed sub-sector of the agribusiness industry through the creation of private sector space, the provision of seed business incentives and the development of practical options for public-private-partnership in agribusiness trade and seed value chain financing.

The owners and representatives of the seed businesses who were present at the ECOSIB training programme were taken through several capacity building lessons aimed at increasing access and availability of superior quality seeds to smallholder farmers in Ghana.

Funded by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the USAID, the purpose of ECOSIB is to build the technical & managerial competencies of SMEs in seed business and develop a cadre of seed business entrepreneurs with the requisite skills to engage in commercial seed production and distribution of quality seeds in Ghana.

The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa-FARA, USAID, KNUST, Ghana Grains & Legumes Development Board and Crop Research Institute are key partners for the ECOSIB programme.