Expanding supply of improved seed to farmers in northern Ghana to increase food security

Webster, T and Atokple, I and Etwire, P and Alhessan, D and Carberry, P S (2015) Expanding supply of improved seed to farmers in northern Ghana to increase food security. In: Tropical Agriculture Conference 2015: Meeting the Productivity Challenge in the Tropics, November 16 - 18, 2015, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Australia.

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The global problem of food security is particularly acute in many parts of west Africa, where food production needs to increase to meet growing demand. The ‘Green Revolution', where improved crop varieties are matched with improved management practices (particularly fertilisers), has been very successful in increasing food production in many parts of the world. However, in much of west Africa farmers have not adopted improved crop varieties. There are many reasons behind this lack of implementation, such as access to finance, access to improved varieties, access to market and government policy constraints. One major roadblock to adoption of improved varieties identified in Savelugu, northern Ghana, was a lack of sufficient improved cowpea seed (an important cash crop). In northern Ghana there are very few certified seed producers, mainly due to the highly regulated certification process. More than 90% of seed is traded between farmers in an ‘informal' seed market. In trials conducted in the Savelugu region improved, certified, cowpea varieties consistently outperformed farmer varieties and at field days farmers showed a strong preference for improved varieties.In the Savelugu region we worked with an Innovation Platform on a pilot system where one seed producer contracted ‘out‐growers' to produce certified seed, while the seed producer performed the certification processes and provide the required inputs and technical support. These out‐growers were situated in villages around Savelugu, where they were able to use the informal supply chain to deliver 20 additional tonnes of certified seed to farmers in the first year of operation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ghana, Food Security, Food Supply, Africa, Seeds
Subjects: Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 31 Dec 2015 08:09
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2017 10:23
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/9211
Acknowledgement: Theme of this paper : Market Driven Solutions
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