Ghana host digital seed catalogue, seed roadmap workshop

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is a non-profit, non-political organization that conducts agricultural research for development in the drylands of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa has held a two days’ workshop for Crops Researchers, seed breeders, and seed producers in Accra.

The workshop which drew participants from Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Ethiopia and Mozambique was on the theme: “Enabling access to quality seeds through Digital Seed Catalogue and Seed Roadmap Rollout”.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Todaygh.com on the sideline of the workshop, the Global Coordinator, AVISA and HOPE Project, Dr. Chris Ojiewo explained that the Digital seed ‘catalog’ and seed ‘roadmap’ is an online platform which provides timely information on all seed varieties available nationally and regionally over a long period.

According to him, modernizing seed management tools is important for the transformation of agriculture in Africa. Digital solutions such as the online variety catalog and computerized seed production planning guide are major steps forward against poverty and hunger in the world.

He hinted that the digital seed ‘catalog’ and seed ‘roadmap platform will also afford researchers to advertised their research works online for quick and easily accessibility on like the previous years where research findings remain on shelves without the public knowledge.

“The digital seed ‘catalog’ and seed ‘roadmap’ is an innovative tool which will ultimately enable farmers in several African countries to access seed varietal information quickly and help them plan seed production over a long period” Dr. Ojiewo reiterated.

He further noted that in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, smallholder farmers still face challenges in obtaining good quality seeds on time, mainly due to lack of access to information about them.

To address this need, according to Dr. Ojiewo, the ICRISAT’s Digital Agriculture team, as part of the Harnessing Opportunities for Productivity Enhancement (HOPE II), Tropical Legumes III and Accelerated Varietal Improvement and Seed Delivery of Legumes and Cereals in Africa (AVISA) project, has created an online seed catalog and a digital seed roadmap tool.

He explained that at the national level, seed roadmaps will enable governments, small-scale seed producers and the private sector to plan, produce, monitor and provide quality seed to smallholders, no matter what the locality. Both the seed catalog and digital seed roadmap are now available to actors and stakeholders in the seed system. Dr. Ojiewo added.

 

 

 

Digital seed ‘catalog’ and seed ‘roadmap’ tool is innovative tool will ultimately enable farmers in several African countries to access seed varietal information quickly and help them plan seed production over a long period.

The online catalog provides information on all seed varieties available nationally and regionally over a long period.

Aside the one in Ghana, similar workshops have been conducted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Kampala, Uganda; Arusha, Tanzania and Bamako, Mali.

According to the organizers, the main goal of these workshops is to demonstrate the use of the tool to various seed system stakeholders including NARS partners, extension workers, and staff of research institutes and seed companies.

In Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, smallholder farmers still face challenges in obtaining good quality seeds on time, mainly due to lack of access to information about them. To address this need, ICRISAT’s Digital Agriculture team, as part of the HOPE II, Tropical Legumes III and AVISA projects, has created an online seed catalog and a digital seed roadmap tool. At the national level, seed roadmaps enable governments, small-scale seed producers and the private sector to plan, produce, monitor and provide quality seed to smallholders, no matter what the locality. Both the seed catalog and digital seed roadmap are now available to actors and stakeholders in the seed system.

 

 

Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH

Writer’s email: franklinadonkoh@gmail.com

 

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