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Developement news | 25 Apr 2012
Farmers invited to use improved planting materials for better yields

The appeal was made last 29th February during the handing over of some government subsidized improved planting material for distribution at subsidized prices by the South West Development Authority, SOWEDA.
Symbolic handing over of planting material watched by governor’s representative at the Ekona farm
Speaking at SOWEDA Farm in Ekona where the symbolic handing over was made, Haddison Kongeh, the Secretary General at the South West governor’s office said it was only through improved seeds that farmers could improve yields.
The SG announced the selling at subsidized rates some 50 tons of improved maize seeds (300 francs instead of 800 francs) and 30 000 cassava cuttings (10 francs each instead of the 25 francs by private dealers). According to the administrator, the government, through SOWEDA has made these improved planting materials including some 80 000 suckers at subsidized rates because it is only by using improved planting materials that farmers can improve their yields.
“We have rains, favorable agricultural climate and fertile soils…I challenge our youths to desist from scamming, watching films and get to the farms”, Kongeh appealed.

On his part, Dr Eneme Andrew Ngome, the General Manager of SOWEDA revealed that the subsidized planting materials will be sold everywhere at the same price in the region thanks to the ministry of agriculture and her decentralized services.
Insisting that only “improved planting material will increase production”, Dr Eneme said the symbolic handing over was not only to create awareness that the farming season has begun but to tell farmers that they play a vital role in the economy of the country.
To the General Manager, the government subsidized the production of the improved planting materials which SOWEDA and her partners like IRAD, MINADER and CARBAP produced because of the important role agriculture plays in the life of the country and the world.

The manager regretted that SOWEDA’s farm-to-market road infrastructure provision and extension of subsidies to other crops like yams was being hindered by like of finance. He regretted that in some areas crops had rot in the farms because of evacuation problems.
The representative of the regional delegate of agriculture, Enang James Enang thanked SOWEDA for assisting farmers with improved planting materials.
Enang James said the request for maize seeds from farmers was over 100 tons in 2011and SOWEDA provided 60 tons.
“We need 85 tons in 2012 and SOWEDA has given 50 tons, we will follow up the farmers to see that they succeed in increasing productivity”, Enang James Enang said during the ceremony.
Although some farmers expressed fears that the subsidized maize would not be enough for them given that RUMPI, the other partner that used to supply similar seeds had rapped up, some agric officials told us that a lot of private maize seed farmers had produced seeds.
Bangsi Daniel Song

“Farmers have enough seeds in the South West”,
Ashu Ashu Peter, Unity Farmers’ CIG
How much maize seeds did you plant this year?
We planted two hectares. We have 4 to 5 tons of seeds that we are preparing.
Were you not afraid of the marketing problems like most seed producers?
Since we have pigs, we need more corn. We don’t have the problem of not selling. We have a big farm that I intend to use the seeds and sell off the rest without treating.
How much will you sell a kg?
If we successfully sell a kg for 500 francs, we will still make it. So many of us went in for maize seeds in the South West, I am sure farmers will still have enough seeds in the South West.

“To produce seeds you have to register with the quality control service”,
Forwang Lawrence, Regional Delegate Agriculture, South West
Are seeds available to farmers in the South West this year?
We have started sending some seeds to the field especially those produced by SOWEDA. We have already sent seeds to the Divisional and Sub Divisional delegations. I am not advising farmers to start planting now in February because they have seen the first rains. We are supposed to start planting in March. Because of climate change, we are not yet sure that the rains will continue.
How necessary is this training now when people are rather expecting seeds?
The training is not meant for this season, it is meant for farmers to know that it is important for quality seeds to be always available. We want to make sure that by next year we don’t have any shortage of seeds, but quality seeds.

Don’t you think the situation where some seed producers had to destroy seeds because of unfair competition has discouraged them?
What is happening is that if you were a seed producer who is not registered with the services of quality control, we don’t consider you as a seed producer. Many of them are in the field producing seeds and they are not known. It is for this reason that there were about 40 CIGs here today but we finally discovered that only about 18 were supposed to be here. These are the ones we know and that we have been controlling and their seeds are certified. I told the irregular seed producers to register with the quality control so that we can control their seeds.

What makes a farmer a good seed producer ?
In agriculture there are norms that you must follow and this are the norms that we were trying to inculcate into theproducers today.
And what are these norms ?
If you want to produce seeds you need basic planting material. After that you have to register with the services of the quality control at the delegation. The quality control team will now follow you up to see that you respect the norms. It is still their responsibility to see that the seeds are sent to the market in good conditions.
Are you sure there will be no shortage of seeds with the closing of RUMPI and subsidized seeds ?
There will be very few problems. I don’t think we will have any problem.

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