Farmers urged to cultivate improved seed varieties

Tolon (N/R), Smallholder farmers in the country have been advised to adopt and plant new improved seed varieties to increase productivity.

Dr Rajeev Varshney, Research Programme Director of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), India, it was the way forward to prevent lower crop yields.

He added that many of the developed countries have higher crop yields than the developing countries because they cultivate new seed varieties”.

He was speaking during a field observation trip to Tolon to assess the maturing stage of the Tropical Legume III project (TL III) new seed varieties cultivated by farmers in the Tolon District.

The new groundnut and soya bean seed varieties were produced by the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR �SARI) with support from ICRISAT in partnership with SEND-Ghana and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

These are resistant to disease and pest infection, and they have very high yielding potential with about 12.7 per cent food protein content.

Dr Varshney said ICRISAT and its partners would provide the technical resources and support to facilitate the cultivation of the new seed varieties and their distribution in markets within the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.

He encouraged the farmers to come out with their own business plans without depending on funds and support from donors to ensure that they became self-dependent, to effectively manage their businesses.

Mr Desmond Sunday Adogoba, a socio-economist at CSIR-SARI and researcher on the TL III project, spoke on the gender component of the project and said it aimed not only at empowering women to be financially independent but to also strengthen the seed production systems in rural communities.

This had been done through the use of the Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) to empower the women in areas like the Wantugu community in the Tolon District, Salinkpan in the Mion District, Gbimsi in West Mamprusi, Baribari in the Bawku Municipality and Tibani in the Nadowli-Kaleo District.

Mr Adogoba said the TL III project was working with 150 smallholder farmers in the five districts with 98 per cent women participation.

The smallholder farmers in these areas had been trained on how to plant the improved legume seed varieties, thereby helping them to understand the physical and extending structures of the seeds.

He said each group through their own funding had been able to cultivate a minimum of five acres of these improved seeds and aiming to distribute them within their communities after harvest to encourage other community members to adopt the new varieties.

During an interaction session with some of the farmers in the Tolon District, Madam Kadiri Mariama, the leader of the Mansungsim VSLA at Wantugu community, said she was expecting an increase in yield since the new legume seed varieties produced more seeds compared to the old varieties.

They were ready to adopt more new seed varieties that would be introduced in the community to help increase their productivity and income, she added.

She appealed to ICRISAT and its partners to assist the community by providing them with a shelling machine to aid them to process their harvest for effective storage.

Mr Bugri Kadiri, another farmer, said they had realized a faster growing rate in the new varieties than the old varieties they used to cultivate some years ago.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Fisherman jailed 20 years for incest

Aflao (V/R), A Circuit Court at Aflao, presided over by Mr Ali Baba Abature, has sentenced a fisherman, accused of incest, to 20 years imprisonment.

Kofi Adelashie has been arrested for having sex with his teenage biological daughter and he pleaded not guilty to offence.

The mother of the victim had died about four years ago and she has been living together with the father in the same room at Denu.

The court was told that Adelashie took advantage of the situation and routinely subjected the girl to bouts of sex, ignoring her disapproval.

He would threaten beating her up anytime she refused to give in to the father’s demand for sex.

Unable to bear the abuse she gathered courage and reported her traumatic ordeal to her school teachers, who reportedly invited Adelashie and advised him to stop doing that.

He would not change and continued to make life miserable for the girl.

Matters came to a head on November 19, last year, when Adelashie attempted to sexually attack her and this time she decided she had had enough of the father’s bad conduct and would no longer be intimidated.

She fled to the house of a pastor, told him about what the father had been taking her through and a formal report was made to the police.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Yendi Municipal Assembly supports persons with disabilities

Yendi (N/R)- The Yendi Municipal Assembly has supported 36 persons with disabilities (PWDs) with various items and cash amounts totalling GH 27,000.00 to improve their living conditions.

The beneficiaries included 11 pupils who received educational materials, four tertiary students receiving GH 1,000.00 each, five persons receiving ruminants while one person received farm inputs.

The others are four traders who received GH 500.00 each to expand their businesses, and six received cash for their medical treatment among others.

Alhaji Hammed Abubakari Yussif, the Yendi Municipal Chief Executive, who presented the items to the beneficiaries, said the Disability Fund for the Third Quarter had been disbursed to the PWDS in accordance with the new guidelines of disbursement, to ensure sustainability.

He advised the beneficiaries to use the items and money judiciously to better their lives and advised the pupils and students to take their studies seriously.

Alhaji Yussif assured those who had not benefited that they would be catered for during the next disbursement.

He commended them for forming a strong association in the Municipality, which makes the Assembly’s work easier through their collaboration.

Mr Dawuni Abdul-Yakubu Major, the Chairman of the Yendi PWDs, thanked the Government through the Yendi Municipal Assembly for the gesture.

He called on all the PWDs to ensure that they registered with the association to benefit from supports by the Government, the Assembly and other Non-Governmental Organisations.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Businessman in court over fraud

Accra� Moro Mohammed, a 54-year-old businessman, who allegedly took GH 82,000.00 from a car dealer under the pretext of supplying him seven auctioned vehicles, has appeared before an Accra Circuit Court.

Mohammed, charged with conspiracy to defraud and defrauding by false pretences has, however, pleaded not guilty. His accomplice, Kwasi Haizel, is at large.

The Court, presided by Mrs Afi Agbanu Kudomo, admitted Mohammed to bail in the sum of GH 90,000.00 with two sureties to reappear on September 27.

Prosecuting, Chief Inspector W. Nyadikor, said in February, this year, Mohammed approached the complainant, Alhaji Rashid Mohammed, who was friend and convinced him that Kwesi Haizel had some assorted vehicles for sale but those vehicles were in a garage.

Prosecution said Mohammed (the accused person) took the complainant to the garage to inspect the cars and the complainant expressed interest in seven out of the lot.

According to prosecution, the seven assorted cars were estimated at GHC82,000.00 and the complainant paid the money to the accused person.

Prosecution said the accused person, however, informed the complainant that there was a matter pending at the High Court in respect of the vehicles and the complainant should wait patiently of the court’s verdict so the vehicles would be delivered to him.

Police investigations at the High Court, however, revealed that the auctioning of the vehicles was not assigned to Mohammed and his accomplice as they alleged.

Based on that, prosecution said the complainant demanded his money but his demands fell on deaf eyes.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana edge Togo to qualify for Semis

Accra- The Black Starlets of Ghana, defeated their Togolese counterparts 2-1 to progress to the semi finals of this year’s West Africa Football Union (WAFU) competition in Niger.

With this victory, the Starlets have set a possible clash against their arch-rivals Nigeria.

Ghana topped Group A with four points after drawing with Niger in the opening match, as they progress to the next round with host Niger.

The winner of the competition would secure the only spot available for the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations to be staged in Tanzania.

Source: Ghana News Agency