CRI partners 6 in aeroponics seed system

• The aeroponics seed system will help farmers to increase their yam production

• The aeroponics seed system will help farmers to increase their yam production

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Crop Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and some six commercial seed yam producers for a partnership in aeroponics seed system.

CRI would provide financial and technical support to farmers as they adopt aeroponics seed system which is a scientific and technological way of nursing seed yam in a screen house where the seed depends on gravity for fertility.

This pre-basic seed yam production system is of the highest quality, efficient in development, free from viruses and other major yam diseases and high in productivity.

The aeroponics seed yam system is under the Community Action in improving Farmer-Saved Seed Yam (CAYSEED) project of CRI with support from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture.

At a ceremony to establish and formalise the partnership, Dr Stella Ama Ennin, Director of CRI, noted that, diseases and pests had been a major concern to seed yam producers as they contributed to low productivity causing post-harvest loss hence the need for the aeroponics seed system.

“We know that, diseases and pests, nematodes and other viral diseases are major constraints to the seed yam production and we see that, it accounts to depression in yields about 30 to 50 per cent, and so if you have a bad seed you can never get a good harvest, so it is important to make sure that, the seed is of a good quality,” Dr Ennin said.

According to her, technology transfer was important to CRI and so there was the need to push the aeroponics technology to end users since through that, an Integrated Agriculture Research for Development, which is a system of research development and transfer, was devised to involve all stakeholders along the value chain to partner in developing and transferring the technology.

Dr Ennin was optimistic that, the initiative would increase the income of farmers, and said that with time the CRI would not hesitate to extend the initiative to other crop variety farmers.

The Project Coordinator of CAYSEED, Dr Kingsley Osei, tasked the participatory seed yam producers to be proactive and cooperate with CRI for a successful partnership.

He said, “we have come to realise that, the Institute alone cannot make any impact particularly in formalising the seed yam system, we have also known that, if we bring in the private sector, it will move fast that is why we are partnering with you”

He said CRI would next year, supply plantlets and give financial support, after the construction of aeroponics structures for the various farms.

Madam Connie Aku Nyador, the Director of Fosua Food Chain at Adaklu in the Volta Region, who spoke on behalf of the farmers, promised they were going to take advantage of the opportunity given them and exploit the aeroponics technology to their full advantage.

The other partner producers were Mr Cephas D. Dormediameo of Savanah Yam Exchange in Ho, Mr Zakaria Somani Iddrisu of Heritage Seeds Company Limited in Tamale, Fuseini Haruna Andan, a private yam seed grower in Savelugu and Alhaji Seidu Baba also a private yam seed grower in Amantin in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

FROM KINGSLEY E. HOPE AND FAUSTINA KWABEA OSEI, KUMASI

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