Seed yam demand and supply gap in Ghana: Implications for commercialisation of seed yam production
The paper examined seed yam supply and demand across four yam producing districts in Ghana. Primary data were obtained from 108 yam farmers who were selected through a multistage random sampling approach. Data collection was done through personal interviews with the use of standardised structured questionnaires. Purely descriptive statistics and pictograms were used to analyse the data. The results showed that about 40 per cent of seed yam suppliers only sold surplus seed yams after planting their own yam fields. About 52 per cent of yam producers had difficulties in obtaining seed yams for cultivation. The demand for seed yams in Ghana far exceeds supply. About 30 per cent of seed yam demand was hardly met in the past three seasons (2007 – 2009). This unfulfilled demand for seed yams in yam producing districts presents a business opportunity for private investors to produce the commodity in commercial quantities. A more commercial approach to seed yam production could bridge the demand-supply gap by linking seed yam and yam producers through urban and local markets in the producing districts.