Hand-holding outgrowers to produce certified seed in drought-stricken Ghana – a model to emulate

Access to quality seed remains a big challenge for farmers in Africa. With increasing drought situations and deteriorating soil quality, especially in the Sudanian and Sahelian zones, improving access to seed of climate-smart varieties is part of the solution. Spurred by a desire to “fix the problem” at least in his village, Mr Khalid Abukari Giwah left his government job to start a seed production venture. Currently, his company fosters 10 outgrowers (contract farmers) for seed production of improved groundnut and cowpea varieties that were disseminated through the Tropical Legumes project.

Welcoming field-monitoring staff from the AVISA project in Ghana, Mr Giwah shared memories of growing up on a farm. “In my village, we used to grow lots of groundnuts and cowpeas for consumption, but with rains becoming scarce and the soils less fertile, farmers need to labor hard for little. I told myself that something needs to be done to fix the problem,” says Giwah, who started Asawaba Farms Limited in 2015. The company is located in the village of Tatuani, which is about 15 km from Tamale city in Northern Ghana.