One of the goals of the Faranaya-2SCALE partnership is to increase the production of sorghum in northern Ghana. However, one challenge that has been prevalent since the inception of the partnership is the inconsistency in volume and in quality of sorghum produced. This poses a challenge both to Faranaya and the smallholder farmers as they are unable to maximize on the market opportunities in the sorghum value chain. Given the challenge of lack of access to sorghum seed which is not only limited to Northern Ghana but the country at large, the partnership resolved to take a sector change approach. This is a novel concept which 2SCALE is pioneering that is aimed at solving agriculture value chain problems that are deemed to be too complex to be solved only by the partnership actors. This entails involving the private and public sectors to form an Informal Change Alliance (ICA) aimed at understanding the challenges and opportunities for mutual gain if a particular challenge is solved.
The partnership, after a consultative process with value chain stakeholders, sought to collaboratively engage the private and public sectors to solve the issue of lack of adequate access to foundation seed. This dual approach is critical due to the different yet complementary roles that each of the sector plays. The government is interested in ensuring food security and as a result plays a critical role in research, advisory, dissemination and local adoption of seed varieties with the private sector facilitating the commercial cross-pollination of best practices and innovations from across the region.“The demand of sorghum is growing and as a business we want to ensure that we can satisfy the demand as this creates opportunities both for Faranaya and our farmers. One of the challenges that we realized as a constraint to enhancing sorghum production was the lack of sufficient quantities of foundation seed. Previously even getting 5kg of foundation seed was a challenge whereas now, we have reduced the deficit significantly thanks to the work of Savannah Agriculture Research Institute (SARI) and also the Change Alliance,”says Obed Asunka, Managing Director or Faranaya.