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Extending improved seeds in Ghana and the rest of Africa. This is certainly a significant and complex challenge. Part of the issue is that to produce quality seeds sustainably, you need a commercial farming environment. As Filed researcher of seeds, most production remains primarily for subsistence purposes, which means that farmers very often do not have the cash to pay for inputs such as quality seed and fertiliser. 

This problem is even greater still on vegetatively propagated crops such as sweet potato and cassava.
However, there is a significant community Ecosythem workers, researchers and the institutions in which they work that are aiming to promote income generating prospects for traditionally subsistence crops, and through that to enhance the prospects of establishing a sustainable and effective seed industry that will serve the needs of growers and lead to significant improvements in the efficiency of production.
My experience is mainly on cassava in East Africa, and here we are trying to take a value chain approach to improving the productivity and commercial value of cassava. In practice, this means on developing and promoting cassava-based products (such as chips, high quality cassava flour, starch and others), improving the efficiency of marketing and markets, and addressing the major (and they are MAJOR) pest and disease constraints. With these kinds of activities going on, we are also simultaneously establishing clean (virus-free) stocks of planting material of newly-released and farmer-preferred varieties, and working with small-scale cassava entrepreneurs to set up seed production and distribution businesses. As farmers get improved commercial opportunities for their cassava crops and processed products, so the chances of them accessing and purchasing improved seeds (and other inputs) should increase. It’s early days, but there is much promise for major development along these lines in the next decade or so. And all of this, without even a mention of any crop modification, other than the usual conventional breeding that continues to deliver successful outcomes for increased productivity, drought tolerance and pest/disease resistance. If you are interested in learning any more about the work of IITA, you can check out the website at Otherwise, it’s always good to respond to questions through this format.

by Paul Atsu , Media incubator for Agribusiness incubation

by Paul Atsu , Media incubator for Agribusiness incubation

Hear me Gambia and Africa!!

by Paul Atsu, peace ambassador.

Peace & Security

First and fore most God our creator is very interested in the welfare of his children. Politicians must not pretend they have the people at heart more than the creator of the universe.

He says in Jeremiah 29: 11 For i know the plans i have for you, says the Lord, plans of welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.(RVS)
Do you believe this? well, that is reality. Let those aspiring for power and control get some new education. No political party or politician is worth dying for because the welfare, the future and the hope of Africa ultimately do not lie in their hands but in the hands of God. They must realize that thy’re only stewards or managers of the resources of the state.
Public office is not the avenue for theft and illegitimate wealth creation as some have demonstrated across Africa. It’s about selfless service to your nation and people. It’s an oath you make to God and man to be upright and diligent in managing the resources efficiently and effectively for maximum national benefit. Understanding this basic spiritual principle is the most important foundation to lay down before embarking on seeking the mandate of the people through peaceful elections.
Why and how must we ensure peaceful elections in Ghana and Africa in general?
We must ensure peaceful elections because Peace is God’s idea and forms the basis for national development. Peace secures the future and destinies of nations. Peace builds unity and togetherness. The opposite is true. Disruptive elections destroys lives and properties. Disruptive elections impoverishes not just a people, but many generations to come. It leads to an uncertain future for the children and the youth. Trained and productive human capital is lost and many more setbacks ensued.
How can we ensure peaceful elections?
Peaceful elections is not dependent on just one group alone working to ensure peace but a multiplicity of bodies, structures and individuals working diligently to ensure a peaceful process before, during and after the elections. However, it will take the action or inaction of just one body, group or individual to disrupt the process.
Ensuring peaceful elections is hard-work.
As a famous political thinker says.

…. “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” —Thomas Paine, 1777.