The Zimbabwean Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Kufa E. Chinoza over the weekend paid a courtesy call to the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, to hold discussions on how the Ministry could collaborate with them to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries through investment opportunities in the Agricultural sector.
The meeting offered an opportunity for the Agric Minister to formally meet with the Ambassador since his arrival in Ghana during the pandemic.
Dr. Takemore Chagomoka, the Regional Manager for SeedCo West & Central Africa who led the delegation during the interaction said obtaining hybrid seeds for crop production was a challenge in the agricultural sector and that they would like to commence local production in Ghana.
He explained that Seed Co. is a company that develops and markets certified crop seeds, mainly hybrid maize seed, in addition to wheat, soya bean, barley, sorghum, and groundnut seeds.
In further talks with the West & Central Africa Regional Manager, Dr. Takemore Chagomoka, he revealed that they chose Ghana due to its peaceful environment and movement of logistics.
For the past four (4) years, they have continuously delivered on time, there is a high demand for their product, they invest and support Ghanaian policies, and their model is suitable for the environment.
Minister of Food And Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto in reaction said “I am fully aware of a research partnership with Seed Co. in the past which has merited crop production in Ghana.”
According to the Minister, the government flagship programe Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ)’s marketing infrastructure had necessitated the establishment of 80 warehouses.
He said the set-up of the Grain Development Authority therefore will ensure the maintenance and addition of more warehouses for storage of cereals and grains.
“And so, will Seed Co.’s petition to solidify bilateral relations in the Agricultural sector. We will work together to build more infrastructure and ultimately ensure food security.
Also, it will be a clear case of Africans supporting Africans. My ministry is ever ready to support our farmers and invest in them through the provision of inputs, fertilizer and extension services,” he added.
“This project will contribute significantly to the sector by creating employment, transferring knowledge and skills to farmers in Ghana, and eventually turning them into outgrowers.”
Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto explained that the Agric ministry will support this initiative through the accessibility of land to help the smallholder farmers and increase the exportation of hybrid seeds.
Meanwhile, the Seed Co. is currently working on a model farm on 240ha of land at the Kpong Left Bank and has high hopes of increasing it to 10000 ha, as the company is interested in growing the seeds here rather than importing them into the country.
They have also planned to use smallholder farmers in Ghana on the farms and eventually employ their services as outgrowers.
Additionally, the demand for hybrid seeds is high and farmers are expecting to double yield with the seeds.
SeedCo as the name implies is an authentic African seed company with branches in over 17 African countries. It was established in 1940 and registered in Ghana in 2017 with the main goal of improving the Agricultural sector.
They develop and market certified crop seeds, mainly hybrid maize seeds, in addition to wheat, soya bean, barley, sorghum, and groundnut seeds.
Globally, they produce over 60,000 metric tonnes of maize. They have successfully implemented their company module in these countries and would want to achieve similar in Ghana by extending their operations in terms of land acquisition.
In the interim, they produce hybrid seeds for Ghanaian farmers and provide extension services. They produce the “Gyimidi” maize variety which yields 12metric tonnes per hectare(ha).