FARNERS IN GHANA ADVISED TO PLANT NEW, IMPROVED SEED VARITIES

ACCRA– Smallholder farmers in Ghana have been advised to adopt and plant new, improved seed varieties to increase productivity by an Indian scientist.

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

Many developed countries have higher crop yields than the developing countries because they cultivate new seed varieties, he pointed out during a field observation trip to Tolon in Ghana’s Northern region (Province), about 600 kilometres north of here, last week to assess the maturing stage of the Tropical Legume III project (TL III) new seed varieties cultivated by farmers in Tolon District.

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

These seed varieties 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 of Ghana.

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.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK