Regulatory framework to implement Plant and Fertilizer Act underway

Stakeholders in the agricultural sector and development partners are meeting in Accra to develop the required regulatory framework for effective implementation of the Plant and Fertilizer Act (Act 803 of 2010).

The three-day meeting being organised by the ACDI/VOCA, an international economic development organisation dedicated to improving lives and livelihoods worldwide in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), has brought together experts in the seed, plant and fertilizer industries.

Opening the workshop on Tuesday, the Chief Director of MOFA, Mr Maurice Abisa T. Seidu in a speech read for him said, “At this stage of agricultural development, a seed law is of paramount when the global food situation is not only precarious but also uncertain.

“For seed to serve as an investment tool, its quality should be guaranteed and its cost accommodating,” he said and added that Ghana’s seed policy was to enhance food security through improved technologies and transparent enforcement mechanisms of seed regulations domestically, regionally and internationally.

The Act provides for the efficient conduct of plant protection to prevent the introduction and spread of pests and diseases to regulate imports and exports of plants and planting materials; the regulation and monitoring of the exports, imports and commercial transaction in seeds and related matters; and control and regulation of fertilizer trade.

“Ghana can compete in the world and do so effectively but that demands increase in productivity and good seed and fertilizer are necessary conditions to achieve that,” Dr Samuel Dapaah, Chief Technical Advisor to the Minister of MOFA said.

Dr Dapaah said with proper land preparation in place, effective management of quality seed and fertilizer and adequate water and irrigation facilities, Ghana could meet the target increase in productivity of six tons per hectare.

Currently in terms of crop production, productivity in Ghana stands at 1.5 tons per hectare, which Dr Dapaah indicated was far too low because the capacity to increase yields on most farms in Ghana could not be overemphasized.

Explaining further, he said on the average, a local maize farmer should produce about 40,000 plants on a hectare of land, but noted that only about 15,000 plants were realized.

He said just last year alone, Ghana was able to export 10,000 metric tons of maize and indicated that we have the capacity to export about 100,000 tons of the maize with proper management skills from the farmer in addition to appropriate use of technology.

ACDI/VOCA is implementing the Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement (ADVANCE) project together with a consortium of local and international partners to facilitate the transformation of Ghana’s agricultural sector through increased competitiveness in domestic and regional markets.

ADVANCE focuses on maize, rice, soybean, mango, pineapple and citrus.

Source: GNA

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