Entrepreneurship for Commercial Seed Incubation Business (ECoSIB) is an initiative that aims at building the technical and managerial competencies of seed businesses, in order to increase the availability and accessibility of superior seed varieties to smallholder farmers in Ghana and to enhance productivity and profitability within the seed value chain. The Initiative was modelled after FARA/UniBRAIN’s tripartite collaboration between Universities, Research and Business for agricultural innovation development and technology commercialization.
ECoSIB was funded through the Scaling Seed and Technologies Partnership (SSTP) of AGRA through FARA and it adopts the integrated value chain approach to addressing key issues identified as slowing the growth of the seed industry in Ghana such as low level of entrepreneurial skills and poor distribution systems.
Agri-Impact Consult was the lead implementer of the initiative, whose core mandate was delivered through a consortium of Public and Private Institutions such as FARA, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Crop Research Institute (CRI), Grains and Legumes Development Board (GLDB), and the Seed Inspectorate Unit of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
ECOSIB was conceived in the light of its relevance and importance to the national agricultural plans and goals of Ghana, as the availability, accessibility and extensive use of improved seeds could lead to increased productivity and overall crop production, and hence food security. The initiative was designed to incorporate all key elements of a sound seed industry. Provision was made to address the following critical elements, namely, co-ordination, effective generational seed multiplication system from breeder seed to certified seed and approved seed, seed conditioning and storage, seed marketing and promotion, and seed certification and quality control.
The seed SMEs weak technical and managerial capacities were identified as hindrances to a good seed industry’s success and adequate arrangements were made to address these deficiencies