Seed Trade Environment in Ghana - Sep 2012


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Presentation by Daniel Otunge, African Agricultural Technology Foundation
Delivered at the B4FA Media Dialogue Workshop, Accra, Ghana - September 2012

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Seed Trade Environment in Ghana - Sep 2012

  1. 1. Seed Trade Environment in Ghana By Daniel Otunge OFAB Coordinator B4FA’s Media Fellowship Programme, GHANA
  2. 2. What is AATF? • The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) was set up in 2003 to facilitate transfer of proprietary technologies to smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
  3. 3. AATF Projects  AATF: Projects include:  WEMA,  Cowpea,  Nitrogen Efficient Rice,  Striga Control in maize,  Aflatoxin control,  Virus resistant bananas;  Cassava,  OFAB
  4. 4. About Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology • This is a platform for sharing credible, factual and balanced information on modern biotechnology with a view to impacting policy making process. • Started by AATF in 2006 in Nairobi Dr. Noah Wekesa, former Minister for Science & Technology, KENYA, opening OFAB in 2006
  5. 5. OFAB Chapters AATF OFAB Ghana: CSIR OFAB Uganda: UNCST OFAB Tanzania: COSTECH OFAB Nigeria: NABDA OFAB Burkina: INERA OFAB Kenya: ISAAA
  7. 7. Ghana Seed Schemes Breeder’s Seed CSIR Foundation Seed GLDB Certified Seed Companies/individuals Standard Seed QDS State agencies: research, certification and release FARMERS Production/Market linkages
  8. 8. The Role of farmers  Informal seed sector dominates seed industry in Ghana.  About 80% of seeds planted are farmer-saved grains  Recognized by government  Registered individual seed growers/merchants  Distorted market system
  9. 9. Role of national institutes The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) institutions produce most of breeder’s seed  Established in 1957  Under the Ministry of Environment, Science & Technology  13 Research Institutes in agriculture, fishery, forestry, industry, environment and health  600 research scientists  All biotech research done by CSIR bodies
  10. 10. Role of research institutes • Breeder’s seed is given to GLDB to produce Foundation for seed companies and other players to produce certified and standard seeds • Challenges include: Inadequate funding; brain drain; ill equipped laboratories; inadequate training; poor project supervision, dependency on donor funding, etc.
  11. 11. Role of Universities  National public universities in Africa also play significant roles in production of breeder’s seed  They do this to fulfill both training and commercial purposes  For instance, the University of Ghana’s  Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR) and  West African Center for Crops Improvement, etc
  12. 12. Role of Seed Companies  Ghana has about 30 registered small-to-media companies  The small, local companies make significant contributions in multiplication of foundation seeds  The multinationals like Monsanto, Pioneer, Bayer, Syngenta, Pannar, SeedCo, Viba Seed, etc., have the resources to produce their own seeds breeder’s seed, including biotech ones, and present to authorities for NPT, DUS, certification and release.  There is fear of control of seed supply by multinationals
  13. 13. Role of Seed Companies  Plant breeding is a very expensive undertaking that takes over 10 years to complete: It is worse with biotech due to elaborate risk assessment. It costs upwards of $100 m
  14. 14. Role of CGIAR  The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) also plays important roles in plant breeding in Ghana: Most relevant ones include: International Maize and Wheat Research Center (CIMMYT) International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT ) Africa Rice Center (WARDA) International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and International Potato Center (CIP)
  15. 15. Role of regional organizations  NEPAD centers of excellence  FARA (Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa)  CORAF/WECARD (West & Central African Council for Agricultural Research & Development)  RECS (Regional Economic Communities like ECOWAS  AGRA (Alliance for the Green revolution in Africa)  AATF,  WACC (West African Center for Crops Improvement)
  17. 17. Seed regulation in Ghana • The Ghana Seed Inspection Division (GSID) is responsible for seed certification and release. Certification steps include: • Determination of eligibility of cultivars/seeds; Verifying source; Field inspections; Lot examination; Sampling; Seed testing; Labeling; Sealing; Quality control • GSID has on seed packaging materials which they sell to seed growers
  18. 18. Seed regulation in Ghana • The National Seed Council (NSC) is responsible for policy formulation • National Seed Testing Laboratory carries out testing: – Moisture content, – DUS (Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability), – Purity – Germination – Health Biotech crops go through even more rigorous tests
  19. 19. Seed regulatory environment The country has the following regulations that affect seed: • Seeds (certification and Standards) Decree of 1972 • Seed and fertilizer Act Law • Biosafety Act 2011 • Biosafety Regulations The Media needs to interrogate the current system to guard against Overregulation
  20. 20. Use of other inputs Use of other inputs like fertilizer is still very low in Africa compared to other regions of the world because:  Inputs are very expensive due to taxes  Lack of availability,  Poverty Hence interventions by: – Seed companies, – Relief agencies, – Governments, – NGOs (eg AGRA, IFDC) – Churches
  22. 22. Role of seed companies:  The seed companies in Ghana are increasingly becoming the central players in production and distribution of seeds to farmers.  They reach farmers through:  Agro-dealer networks  Demonstration plots and extensive network of  sales and marketing agents  Promotion  Media  Farmer field days  Exhibitions
  23. 23. Role of extension service: • In Ghana DAES is responsible for agriculture extension • However, generally the extension service is: –Ineffective –Underfunded –Understaffed
  24. 24. Role of information
  25. 25. Role of information: Information on available varieties is provided to farmers right form the time of variety release which are usually made public through the press and catalogues.  Sources of information include:  seed companies (promotion, demo farms, sales & marketers, exhibition, info materials)  The mass media  agro-dealers,  NGOs  Extension  Use of ICTs (mFarms, esoko, etc.)  Farmer associations  Exhibitions
  26. 26. Farmer level promotion This is mainly done by:  Seed companies (sales agents)  Industry association (SEEDPAG)  Traditional meetings  Demo farms  Farmer field schools  IEC materials, etc  Extension service  Farmer Groups (eg Ghana National Association of Farmers &Fishers)  NGOs, (AATF, AGRA, ISAAA, World Vision, Action Aid, Oxfarm, among others) (SEEDPAG: Seed Producers Association Of Ghana)
  27. 27. Role of AFSTA:  The African Seed Trade Association is an industry body formed to promote trade in quality seeds and innovative agricultural technologies  It has about 26 National Seed Trade Associations and 70 member seed companies spread across Africa.  In Ghana it operates through SEEDPAG.  Main programs include: ASIESA, WASA,COMRAP and Biotech awareness.
  28. 28. Role of AFSTA:  The national associations partner with government departments and seed companies to create channels through which farmers can access seeds more easily.  Organizes annual congress where farmers get information at exhibition booths. Congress: 5-8 March 2013
  29. 29. Role of AGRA:  The AGRA’s Program for African’s Seed Systems (PASS) is perhaps the most ambitious and well coordinator effort to improve supply of quality seeds to farmers in Africa.  PASS aims to increase Africa’s capacity to breed, produce and deploy quality seeds to farmers Dr Joe Dvries, PASS Director
  30. 30. Role of AGRA: PASS programs encompass:  Strengthening seed regulatory frameworks  Advocating for better polices and laws  Building capacities of seed companies  Developing agro-dealer networks  Supporting farmer cooperatives  Funding local seed producers  Academic and skills training
  32. 32. What is IPR • IPRs are legal instruments used to protect creations of the mind which have commercial value, such as inventions. • They grant exclusive rights to the creator to protect access to and use of their property from unauthorized use by third parties. • Article 27 of the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of IPRs) Agreement have brought about a major shift towards Plant Variety Protection (PVP) • Other important bodies that emphasize IPRs are UPOV (International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants and ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property Organization) .
  33. 33. IPRs • New Plant Varieties are eligible for the intellectual property protection under UPOV , WIPO, TRIPS and ARIPO among others. • Few countries in the sub-region have Plant Breeder’s Rights law. • Protection of plants through intellectual property is riddled with controversy centered on the threat to food security.
  34. 34. IPRs in Ghana • Ghana has a draft legislation on protection of plant variety to be tabled in Parliament. • Currently, despite the fact that the country has Patent Act, 2003, Act 657, section 2(e)- (g) of the Act excludes patentability of plant or animal varieties or essentially biological processes and the products of such processes. • The weaknesses in IP legislation and reluctance to grant patents for plant variety protection are some of the reasons for slow investment in the seed subsector in Ghana.
  35. 35. Challenges facing seed sub-sector The following are some of the major challenges facing the seed systems in Africa:  Unstable government policy  Weak seed market systems  Low seed adoption rate  Lack of up to date data on seed  Inadequate capacity building  High production costs  Inadequate distribution channels  Poor extension service  Poor storage facilities
  36. 36. Challenges facing seed sub-sector  Poor policy implementation  Inadequate enforcement of seed laws and regulations  Poor funding of research for seed development  Counterfeiting and adulteration of seeds  Underdeveloped irrigation systems  Inadequate land for seed production  Lengthy variety release process  Expensive credit facilities
  37. 37. Challenges facing seed sub-sector  Lack of harmonized regional seed policies and regulations  Unavailability of seeds in commercial quantities  Lack of awareness of new varieties  High relative price of seeds  Lack of insurance system for agriculture industry  Insufficient supply of good quality foundation seeds  Underinvestment in diffusion strategies  Poor agro-dealer network  Weak national seed trade/grower associations
  38. 38. Comments and discussions THANK YOU