Sending seeds to Ghana Africa

slowpoke_gardenerApril 1, 2013

We have had some wonderful guest a few times over the past two years. The wife will soon finish her degree at Northwest Arkansas. The husband has finished his degree in Africa. Today was the first time I have met the husband, he just flew to the U.S. a few days ago.

The husband seemed very interested in my seed starting set-up and my garden. He tells me that seed selection in Ghana is much less than it is here. I would like to send seeds back with him in May when he returns home. (the wife has another semester to complete before she returns.

What I would like from my friends on the Oklahoma Garden Web Is advice on what type of seed to buy and send back with him. He could not tell my the strain of seed they use (which might have a different name here anyway)

He will be going back in may and says that is the planting time for them. If any of you have any advice I sure could use it.

By the way he tells me their seasons are controled by rainy and dry seasons, and they buy their cabbage seeds from the us because their cabbage wont live long enough to produce seeds.

Thanks,Larry

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pam_chesbay(VA 8a/7b)

Hi Larry:

I have seeds to donate, was curious about their climate and what crops, especially food crops, are grown in Ghana. (Chandra, we need you!)

I googled "food crops Ghana" (link below). In a nutshell, food production in Ghana is erratic, in part because of frequent, severe droughts. Livestock is limited because of poor grazing conditions in areas, and the tsetse fly in other areas.

"The main food crops are corn, yams, cassava and other root crops."

"The country produces a variety of crops in various climatic zones which range from dry savanna to wet forest and which run in eastwest bands across the country. Agricultural crops, including yams, grains, cocoa, oil palms, kola nuts, and timber, form the base of Ghana's economy.[1]"

Ask your friends what people grow and consume - that would help us. I don't have seed for corn but do have seed for two varieties of organic, non-GMO soy beans. (link to info page about them below) I don't know if soy beans are grown or would be consumed in Ghana.

Here is a link to info about these varieties:
http://epicgardens.com/Edamame__Virginia_Bred_and.php

If your friends want to grow soybeans, I can send the seeds to you.

Take care,
Pam

Here is a link that might be useful: Agriculture in Ghana

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 3:10PM
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pam_chesbay(VA 8a/7b)

Hi Larry,

I found a study - "Assessing Crop Production and Input Use Patterns in Ghana" published in 2011 by the International Food Policy Research Institute that provides answers to some of my questions. (link below)

Some crops - rice, sorghum, millet, and cocoa - are grown in specific regions, while other crops - maize, cassava, tomato - are grown by many households in all four agricultural zones.

The top two crops are maize and cassava. (Over 60% of rural households and 25-30% of urban households grow maize and cassava.)

The next most popular crops are pepper, plantain, okra and tomato. Other popular food crops are groundnuts, beans and pulses (grouped), banana, pawpaw, orange, pineapple, eggplant, and leaf vegetables. The most popular grains are millet, sorghum and rice.

The study does not mention soybeans so it must not be grown- perhaps requires too much water.

I have lots of Clemson Spineless okra seed that I collected last year. Have odds and ends of tomato and pepper seed. No corn. Just started growing beans last year, ramping up production this year so no surplus bean seed yet.

Take care,
Pam

Here is a link that might be useful: Assessing Crop Production and Input Use Patterns in Ghana

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 8:49PM
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slowpoke_gardener

Pam, thanks so much. I read over the "Crop Production" report and found it very interesting. I hope to meet with Dan soon and better understand his goals.

I hope I can get this posted. I have writen two post and lost them both, if this one does not show up I will try again tomarrow.

Larry

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:54PM
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soonergrandmom

The yams are not the same as the vegetable that we know as yams. Ours are actually sweet potatoes and their yams are an very long white fleshed root vegetable from a perennial vine.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 1:21AM
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Lisa_H(7)

Let us know what you find out, I'd love to help!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 10:48AM
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Lisa_H(7)

Does he know about composting and building the soil?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 10:49AM
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slowpoke_gardener

Lisa, yes he knows about composting. He also checked out the way I have ditches dug around my gardens and filled with mulch, which provides drainage and compost.
Dan tells me that in the rainy season they get a lot of rain that erodes their growing areas.

I also intend to send some Seminole seeds back with him, we did not discuss those, but I think they may be useful there.

I will have to check if there are any restrictions on sending seeds, Dan said he did not know of any, but this is also his first time out of the country.

Larry

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 12:19PM
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Erod1

If he is taking them on a flight, there is a chance they could be confiscated. You would probably have better luck mailing them to him. I will see if i can find anything that shows regulations, but do know if you try to bring seeds into the US, they will be confiscated.........if they find them, that is.

E

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 11:23AM
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Lisa_H(7)

Taking seeds into Haiti has not been a problem at all. But I would never attempt to bring them into the US.

Hmm. It does look like it is prohibited.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ghanaian Customs

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 11:29AM
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Erod1

http://www.southafrica.info/travel/advice/redtape.htm#.UVxKOGt5mSM

According to this, seeds have to be declared.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 11:29AM
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slowpoke_gardener

Erod and Lisa, thanks I will have check a little further

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 12:32PM
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macmex

Small packets of vegetable seed are usually no problem for travel between countries. I used to carry and/or ship vegetable seed between the US and Mexico with no problem at all. Sweet potatoes cannot be brought into the USA under any circumstances.

I looked up their latitude. Ghana is at about 5 degrees from the equator, which makes a huge difference in what will grow there. I used to live at 20 degrees and most of my squash acted like wimps there. On the other hand, the native squash were "swash buckling thugs." When I brought seed up here, the 20 degree natives were still exceedingly vigorous, but they failed to flower and set fruit in time for our first frost.

Larry, I will do a germination test. I have a day length neutral soy, which should grow there as well as a great pole bean and one of those southern latitude squash.

George
Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 1:35PM
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slowpoke_gardener

George, thanks.

I sent a message to Mary (the wife). Hopfully we can communicate on line better than in person. I did that before I went to Mexico and it worked quite well, but then when I got there I could not understand anything they said. They said that "I did not sound good".

I was hoping the Seminole pumpkin might be something they can use, but they may have something that will out produce the Seminole.

Larry

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 2:12PM
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macmex

Larry, Seminole would worth trying there. It's a lot hardier than the Znoeth American squash I had when in Mexico.

George

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 3:26PM
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slowpoke_gardener

George, I hope to send some Seminole seed to Africa. The couple that were here at our house are out of state now, so I have had no contact with them, but i just met with two Missionaries from Ghana and got some pepper and corn seed from Africa. I already have more peppers than I know what to do with, but I plan no placing some of the hot ones under the lights today.

Larry

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 1:08PM
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macmex

Larry, you mentioned going to Mexico? Did you go to Mexico? And... you didn't take me?!

George ;)

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 1:35PM
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slowpoke_gardener

George, I went to Mexico about 12 years ago. I should have taken you because I dont Know any Spanish. I stayed about a month and came home. I thought that I might want to retire there, but decided it was too far from home.

I think I will now try to find some tomato seeds from Ghana. If a tomato can resist disease in Ghana, it should think it was in Heaven here.

Larry

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 6:24PM
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