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Research Article
Influence of Current Seed Programme of Ghana on Maize (Zea mays) Seed Security

I. Sugri, R.A.L. Kanton, F. Kusi, S.K. Nutsugah, S.S.J. Buah and M. Zakaria

Research Journal of Seed Science, 2013, 6(2), 29-39.

Abstract

Though several maize (Zea mays) varieties and hybrids have been developed over the last three decades in Ghana, farmers still face challenges of access to quality seed. This study examined the influence of current seed programme of maize and suggests interventions to ameliorate the constraints of farmers in relation to seed security. The research tools employed were a field survey, key informant interviews and seed quality analysis. A structured questionnaire was employed to capture information from 90 respondents consisting of farmers, agro-input dealers and seed growers from 6 districts in the Upper-East Region. Seed samples of 100-500 g were obtained from the respondents for some quality analysis. Overall access to seed was influenced by distance, price and information about the improved varieties. Majority of respondents (75%) utilized certified seed as initial planting, however up to 60, 33.3, 2.2 and 4.4% of actors recycled seed for 1-2, 3-5, 6-10 and 11-25 years, respectively. Average germination across sources of seed was 78.1-86.8%. Considering the minimum range (47-71%) improvements in seed processing and conditioning is still required. Most preferred traits were early maturing (48%), high yielding (25%) and drought escape (23.2%). Over 90% of respondents did not know the “release name” of the variety, nor the specific qualities they possessed. Achieving seed security will require adopting innovative seed multiplication and distribution approaches, such as the community seed concept in rural communities. The capacity of Ghana Seed Inspection Division should be strengthened to conduct field inspection and seed processing services at regional and district levels.

ASCI-ID: 89-74

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