Influence of Current Seed Programme of Ghana on Maize (Zea mays)
Research Journal of Seed Science,
2013, 6(2), 29-39.
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.
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