Challenge: Fostering sustainable impact within the Ghana Seed Sector
BHEARD Project Summary 2020-2021
In 1989, the Ghanaian Ministry of Food and Agriculture privatized seed production with the goal of promoting growth and investment in the industry. However, current demand for seed is three times what the seed sector is able to produce and less than 5% of Ghanaian farmers have yet to benefit from improved seed varieties. As a result, the overwhelming majority of smallholder farmers obtain seeds from informal channels, including local seed exchanges with other farmers. There is a need for innovation around both the production of high-quality seeds and their distribution in order to strengthen the domestic market and improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and consumers.
Previous Activities 2019-2020
In 2019 a two-day workshop was held in Accra, Ghana hosted by the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI). The workshop included representatives from USAID, the Ghanaian Government, private sector, and various academic institutions. Participants went through a process of mapping the Ghanaian Seed Sector and prioritizing challenges that required collective action. Participants were also introduced to a competitive proposal process which asked individuals to submit an innovative idea that had potential to contribute to sustainable impact within the seed sector. In total, 19 ideas were submitted and 4 were selected to receive full funding. Winning proposals and their principal investigators include:
- Gloria Boakyewaa Adu: “Building the Technical and Entrepreneurial Capacity of Youth in Maize Cultivation to Produce and Market Hybrid Maize Seed in Northern Ghana”
- Agyemang Danquah: “Development of Locally Certified Improved Tomato Hybrid Seeds and Production Capacity Building in Ghana”
- Eric Danquah: “Upscaling West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) Maize Hybrid for Increased Productivity in Ghana”
- Doris Kanvena: “Scaling-up the productivity of soybean through the use of high-quality seeds of improved varieties”
Current Activities 2020-2021
Under the leadership of BHEARD’s West Africa Coordinator, Saviour Badohu, each team has recently begun their research. The impact of COVID-19 has proved challenging to the projects as shutdowns in Ghana have made meetings and site visits challenging. However, all projects have worked to make adaptations and are still on track with their project work. Teams will have until June, 2021 to continue their work and at that time, an innovation showcase will be held to highlight the efforts of all teams, illustrate both successes and challenges faced throughout the projects, and invite the public and private sector to consider the potential to further scale these innovations.
- Identify at least one innovation that can be translated to a financially viable product/process in the Ghanaian market.
- Establish public and private sector champions to encourage efforts to fund innovative ideas in the seed sector, specifically looking toward efforts that bring together academia and the private sector.
- Conclude activities and develop a report, sharing lessons learned and recommendations for future programs investing in Institutional Capacity Development (ICD).
Ghana ICD News
Published on July 13, 2020
Clifford Yeboah-Manson is a MPhil candidate from Ghana currently researching Seed Science and Technology at KNUST in Ghana.