Brief: Seed System Processes in Ghana

A system of quality monitoring, standards adherence and enforcement, referred to as quality assurance, is a basic feature of an effective seed industry. Quality assurance permeates the entire spectrum of the seed program from production in the field, processing, packaging, storage to marketing. Seed quality assurance gives credibility to the seed as a specialized commodity since it empowers farmers to have confidence in the product.  

Ghana operates the Minimum Standards Certification and the crops covered are: Cereals such as maize, rice, sorghum, millet; legumes such as cowpea, groundnuts, bambara groundnuts, and soybean; vegetables such as garden egg, onion, tomato, pepper and okra; roots & tubers such as cassava, yam and sweet potato and cocoyam; and fruit & tree crops such as mango, citrus and pineapples.   

Seed quality assurance in Ghana is under the mandate of the Ghana Seed Inspection Division (GSID) established within the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. GSID also provides technical support for the development of internal and external quality assurance by the private sector.

The GSID operates a National Seed Testing Laboratory at Pokuase, near Accra, and has regional satellite laboratories sited in six locations in the country.   From the breeder and foundation stages up to the production and sale of certified seeds, seed industry quality standards are enforced through the Plants and Fertilizer Act, 2010 (ACT 803) and its Regulations. The latter has been revised by Parliament at the close of 2019 to bring it in line with provisions of the ECOWAS Harmonization Program in which Ghana is a participant.

The above notwithstanding, serious inherent weaknesses in the legislative and regulatory environment persist. Notable among these are inadequacies in the operations of the legislative and regulatory protocols.