Minister asks seed producers to set standards

SeedsMr Abu Alhassan, a Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, has advised the Seed Producers Association of Ghana (SEEDPAG), to set standards for their members to produce high quality seeds that could compete with imported ones.

He also called on members of the association to increase their production to meet the seed needs of the country to facilitate agricultural production.

It is estimated that seed production could satisfy only 20 per cent of the country’s requirement.

Mr Alhassan gave the advice when members of the association called on him in Accra to advocate the early passage of the Legislative Instrument (LI) and the Seed Policy to support the effective implementation of the Plant and Fertiliser Act of 2010, which could regulate the seed industry.

He said currently the LI is before Cabinet for re-submission to Parliament for its passage.

The LI which was submitted to the last Parliament did not pass the 21 days requirement in the House for its passage.

It was therefore withdrawn when the new government came into office, this year for it to be studied and re-submitted.

Mr Alhassan said the Plant and Fertiliser Act of 2010 also established the Plant and Fertiliser Fund thus bringing the Fertiliser Fund, the Seed Fund and the Plant Protection Fund under one body.

He explained that under the law, importers of fertilisers and other ago-chemical products and seed producers are expected to contribute to the fund and to be part of its management.

He advised SEEDPAG to take advantage of   the Public Private Partnership programme of Government to acquire funding for the establishment of seed a processing centre in the Eastern Region.

Mr Patrick Apullah, National President of SEEDPAG, appealed to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), to ensure the quick passage of the LI on the Plant and Fertiliser Act.

He urged the ministry to ensure early induction into office of members of the Seed Council and the establishment of the Seed Fund to support the national seed security stock, private sector initiative and the maintenance of seed laboratories and other seed infrastructure.

Mr Apullah appealed to MOFA to consider re -locating of all farmer based organisations into the former Food Distribution Corporation offices in the North Industrial Area, in Accra to ensure easy communication among members and the Ministry.

Source: GNA

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