Major Crops Produced, Cropped Areas and Performance
Cropped Area of Major Food Crops (2005 – 2010)
There has been steady increase in the area under cultivation of all the major food crops produced in the region except cocoyam. Cocoyam was mainly grown as volunteer crop which normally spring up after land preparation. The decline in the area of cocoyam is partly due to excessive bushfires which destroyed cocoyam in fallow lands and the use of total chemical weed killers which destroyed the volunteer cocoyam. With 2006 as the base year, the area under maize and rice increased significantly by 11% and 19% respectively. The area under the following crops also increased moderately, cassava (4%), yam (7%) and plantain (6%). Area under cocoyam however, declined by 28%. The table and figure below gives data and trend of area under various food crops.
Table. Area of Major Crops (2005-2010)
Production of Major Food Crops (2005 – 2010)
Production of all the major staples food crops have been increasing except cocoyam. Comparing the production figures of 2010 to that of 2006, Rice production has almost tripled. This may be attributed to rice projects which have provided credit support, introduced improved technologies and high yielding and quality rice varieties which resulted in the expansion of area and significant increase in yields. Such projects included Inland Valleys Rice Development Project (IVRDP) New Rice for Africa Project (NERICA) etc. Maize cassava and yam have also recorded very high increase of 54%, 64% and 28% respectively due to MOFA interventions such as block farm, fertilizer subsidy, Root and Tuber Improvement and Marketing Programme (RTIMP), unleashing the Power of Cassava (UPoCA) etc.
Table. Production Levels of major Crops (2005-2010)
Yield levels of Major Food Crops (2005 – 2010)
The yields of all the major staples increased significantly except cocoyam. Cocoyam thrives very well on fertile soils. With the decline in soil fertility, the yield of cocoyam is decreasing. The 2006 figures compared with 2010 showed that yields have increased as follows: rice (145%), cassava (61%), yam (42%), maize (33%) and plantain (5%). This clearly indicates that crops which have received particular attention through interventions have very high yield increases.
Table. Yield Levels of major Crops (2005-2010)
Seeds which are the basic unit of plant propagation are undoubtedly the most crucial components of agriculture. The use of good quality seeds of high-yielding crop varieties has been recognized as being the most cost-effective inputs in ensuring increased farm productivity. Thus, a well developed and cost-effective seed industry is vital for the development of Ghana’s agricultural sector.
Purpose of Seed Certification
The main objective of seed certification is to maintain and make available high quality seed of crop varieties produced, handled and distributed so as to ensure proper identity and genetic purity.
Classes of Seed for Certification in Ghana
Field Inspection of Seed fields
Staff of MoFA under the Directorate of Plant Protection and Regulatory Services (PPRS), Seed Coordination Unit carries out registration and field inspection of all registered certified seed growers fields. Below is an Obatanpa field inspected at the vegetative stage.
Seed Production and Distribution in the Ashanti region (Private Sector Involvement in Seed).
Small clusters of seed production groups, individuals and dealers emanated from the erstwhile Ghana Seed Company and Extension Test Plot (ETP) farmers. Since 1990 only open pollinated varieties of maize, cowpea, soybean etc. featured in the seed market.
In 1997 three (3) varieties of hybrids namely; Mamaba, Dadaba and CIDA-ba were released. Other maize varieties recently released and planted by growers are Golden Jubilee, a yellow version of Obatanpa developed to help boost the poultry industry. Etubi, the new hybrid whose parental line has better stalk and resists lodging can be planted on the same day with its single cross parent. This variety is also being multiplied now (i.e. in 2009) by seed growers in the Ashanti region. Certified seed of cowpea varieties such as Asontem and Asetenapa are also produced and marketed by growers and input dealers.
Ashanti region produces the country’s bulk of seed maize, supplied to input dealers and farmers not only in Ashanti but other regions of Ghana and also neighbouring countries notably; Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin. The table below shows the production trend of seed maize and cowpea in the Ashanti Region from 2004 to 2009.
The area and quantity of seed maize production declined steadily from 2005 to 2008. The sharp rise in seed maize production in 2009 may be attributed to the increased demand for seed maize in 2008 and Government support package to seed growers and the block farm from 2008.