Farmers asked to use improved certified seeds

farmer_1Mr Iddrisu Yakubu, Northern Regional Project Coordinator of Ghana Agricultural Associations, Business and Information Center, has appealed to small holder farmers in the country to use certified seeds to increase yield.

He said  “A careful observation made over the years has shown that most farmers prefer to use seeds from their produce instead of acquiring the certified seeds for cultivation”.

Mr. Yakubu, who made the call at a review meeting of the Agriculture Value Chain Mentorship Project (AVCMP) partners on Thursday in Tamale, said a study proved that recycling of seeds reduced yields.

He said agricultural production would increase if farmers adhere to best farming practices and maximize the rightful usage of agro-chemicals and organic fertilizer.

Mr Yakubu said sustainable agriculture should involve viable agricultural practices.

Dr Wilson Dogbe, AVCMP Productivity Coordinator, explained that the initiative was aimed at addressing challenges of low use of agriculture input, poor soil health, poor crop management, limited access to credit and insufficient agriculture marketing systems.

He said the four year project, which started in 2011 had benefited many farmers, adding that it set 123 demonstrations of Integrated Soil Fertility Management technologies which had directly benefited farmers.

Dr Dogbe said six farmer learning centers in Tamale, Tolon, Yendi, East Gonja, Karaga and West Mamprusi areas had been established as part of the project.

He, however, said the major challenge that needed to be addressed by government was the high farmer extension ratio, which stood at 1400 farmers per one agriculture extension officer.

The AVCMP seeks to contribute towards Ghana’s objective of achieving food security and becoming an agro-industrial economy by strengthening the capacity of agro-dealers, small scale medium enterprises and famer based organisations, to ensure a highly productive, efficient, competitive and sustainable system.

It is being implemented by the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (SARI-CSIR), the International Fertilizer Development Center, and Ghana Agricultural Associations, Business and Information Center.

Source: GNA

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