General News of Tuesday, 27 November 2018
The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Kennedy Osei Nyarko has said that the role of agriculture as the backbone of the economy cannot be over emphasized.
According to him, agriculture employs 45% of Ghana’s population and with the projection that Ghana’s population will increase to 30.5 million by 2020, agriculture will be the driving force of the country’s GDP.
‘The agriculture sector is expected to play a leading role in feeding the population while providing income and employment along its value chain” he said.
According to him, the Nana Addo-led government recognizes the importance of food security thus the unveiling of key flagship programs with the aim of increasing food availability.
“These flagship programs include the planting for food and jobs, planting for exports and rural development, one-district, one-factory and rearing for food and jobs” he said.
Speaking at the 2018 club 10K seed companies’ convening themed “cracking the early generation seed code: sustainable solutions for supply of breeder and foundation seed in Africa” the deputy minister said, Ghana’s seed sector has undergone some significant changes in the past few years.
He explained however that, there are issues with the research institutions to maintain their germplasm and supply private seed companies with adequate quantities of breeder seed.
“When seed companies receive good quality breeder’s seed from the NARIs and they are usually in small quantities, requiring more time for multiplication before foundation seed is produced and worse still,certified seed production” he said
He said, there should be strategic measures implored to address the challenges in the seed sector to reduce the number of days it takes to register a variety and to address the problem of fake seed, among other issues.