MOVING A VIBRANT SEED INDUSTRY IN GHANA
On August 24, 2017 in Accra, over 100 stakeholders from the public and private sectors, development partners, and the media gathered for the official launch of NASTAG, as the major private-sector led umbrella association for all seed value chain actors in the country. Representatives from development partners including USAID, Feed the Future projects such as and AfricaRice, reaffirmed their continuous support and partnership with NASTAG to promote the growth of the seed industry and expand seed uptake among Ghanaian farmers.
“If international Cooperation projects such as ours get to play a role in these capacity building endeavors, I would say that the most important one is to catalyze the aspirations and desires of our local partners, in this case NASTAG members, so you can responsibly fulfill your part as agents of change, becoming the architects of your own destiny.” -Mr. Walter Nunez-Rodriguez, Chief of Party of APSP.
Government Commitment to Support the Seed Industry
Delivering the keynote address, the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture responsible for Annual Crops, Hon. Dr. Sagre Bambangi, reiterated the relevance of NASTAG in view of the strategic partnership the Government has started with the association in implementing of its flagship program “Planting for Food and Jobs” (PFJ). In addition, the Hon. Deputy Minister strongly indicated the government’s commitment to:
Speed up the reconstitution of a functioning National Seed Council;
Allocate a budget for the implementation of the National Seed Plan;
Operationalize the Plants and Fertilizer Act 803’s Seed Fund; and;
Ensure parliamentary approval of the ECOWAS Harmonized Ghana Seed Regulations
Attendees applauded the remarks by Hon. Dr. Bambangi, since these commitments are key elements to strengthen the enabling environment and promote private sector investments in the seed industry. Members inducted a seven-member Executive Council of NASTAG into office to continue building the capacity of the association and to consolidate its place as the leading private organization in the Ghanaian seed industry.