Seed is the basic input in agricultural production system. Lack of locally adapted seed, particularly in drought-prone and food insecure communities in northern Ghana, is crucial especially as rainfall distribution is mono-modal and production is only subsistence.
Over time, Trax Ghana and operating communities (farmers groups) have develop a revolving (pay-back) seed loan system that provides opportunity for interested farmers to take seed loan during the cropping season and pay back with 20% interest after harvest to enable more farmers to have access to planting materials. Lack of seed, mostly legumes of soybean and groundnuts has been alleviated in some target communities because of the current system. Each cropping year, some 50 new farmers, mostly women can get about 25kg each of groundnut and soybean seed by loan for planting purposes and pay back 30kg each after harvest. This, in addition to being constant source of locally adapted seed supply, has been able to help improve soil fertility, food security and generate resources that help them improve their livelihoods and the family. After harvest, the vines are stored and used to feed their livestock during the lean season which makes them look healthy and available for monitoring.
In totality, the system provides farmers with a fallback and sustainable mechanism that enables them to be more seed secure.
During the 2016 cropping season, 50 farmers at Kabusgo and Beo-Nayire who benefited from the revolving seed loan pay back after harvest. Each beneficiary received 25kg of soybean and 25kg of groundnut.
A group member presenting her soybean seed to members for verification
Trax Ghana community facilitator in charge of the Kabusgo project zone witnessed the impressive pay-back event that took place on 12th January, 2017. All 2016 beneficiary farmers brought their pay-back seed to the community warehouse for storage and distribution to the next set of farmers during the 2017 cropping season.
The excited group members bagging their pay-back seed for the warehouse
Considering the numerous farmers who are eager to benefit from the revolving scheme, the next set of over 100 beneficiaries was identified using the “check yes or no” approach means approval which was accepted by all participants.
Beneficiary farmers are delighted about the scheme and those who are yet to benefit have call for its expansion to cover more communities and farmers through improved input (seed) supply.