General News of Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Source: GNA

USAID beneficiary supplies seeds

A United States Agency for International Development in Ghana (USAID) grant beneficiary, Antika Company limited has supplied about 180 metric tons of certified seeds to the government’s “Planting for Food and Jobs Programme”.

The supplied seeds which were delivered in April, June and July comprised 157 metric tons of maize, 16 tons of rice and 7.5 tons of sorghum.

Alhaji Abdulai Seidu Antiku, Managing Director of Antika Company Company Limited who disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Wa explained that the company would expand its seed production from 600 to 1,670 metric tons in the coming years to be able to serve farmers in the Region.

He said the USAID through its Feed the Future Ghana Agriculture Technology Transfer (ATT) Project has over the three years supported the company with technical training, ultra-modern processing and packaging machines and other equipment to make seeds available to farmers at their doorsteps.

The modern seed processing equipment consists of a Dichwe cleaner, Trommel (3-screen), Seed Treaters, Bagging unit (bin, trolley and stitching machine), and mini laboratory kits were meant to enhance the production and processing of larger quantities of seeds, which would be distributed to farmers.

The new equipment has a capacity of six metric tons per hour, he noted.

The Managing Director, affirms: “There has been a huge and great transformation in the certified seed production sector.

“I am proud and happy to be associated with this wind of positive change. The support of the American People has taken the seed sector in northern Ghana, especially in Upper West, to a higher and different level, he said.

He said his company only had the capacity and technology know-how to produce from 10 to 50 tons of certified seeds, which took three months, but now the company processes more than 650 metric tons of certified seeds in just four weeks.

“All the maize, soy, rice, and cowpea seeds I processed this season are sold-out, and this has been consistent over the past few years.

“Every year the number of farmers who buy certified seeds increases and it is because they have heard testimonies of the benefits of using certified seeds from their colleague famers,” Alhaji Antiku noted.

“This is just the beginning of the paradigm shift, and I know with this trend, Antika Company will hit its target of supplying certified seeds to over 70 percent of farmers in the Upper West Region,” he said.

“This is possible because I have received a seed van from ATT Project which I am using to sell seeds in hard to reach communities,” he added.

Alhaji Antiku said the partnership with the project had drastically reduced the stress women seed-sorters endured to sort the volumes of seeds after the breakdown of the only sorting machine in the Region.