CSIR-CRI launches new maize variety

In a bid to reduce vitamin A deficiency in the country, the Crop Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-CRI), has launched pro vitamin A orange maize at Adidwan in the Asante Mampong Municipal of the Ashanti Region.

The pro vitamin A orange maize, is among the nine highly disease resistance maize varieties that would be launched by the institute before the end of the year.

Having the potential of improving the health of pregnant women and children, the pro vitamin A orange maize also has a high yield capacity of six tones per hectare as against four tones per hectare of the normal white maize, and also good for eye sight.

Speaking to newsmen at the launch, Dr Manford Bendzie Ewoo, a maize breeder and a Senior Research Scientist at CRI, said it was important to promote the consumption of the new pro vitamin A orange maize variety among Ghanaians as it had enormous nutritious benefits, adding “vitamin A is very important for the body and the consumption of the pro vitamin A orange maize provides good and improved nutrition.”

Dr Ewoo indicated that, the CRI had the intention of promoting the variety of maize among poultry farmers as it has the potential of increasing the vitamin A content in poultry eggs.

He added that, the pro vitamin A orange maize would also be recommended to be used by caterers in the school feeding programme for the consumption of school children who would need more of vitamin A for their growth.

The Director of CRI, Dr Stella Ama Ennin also said, the Institute was working towards bringing together all the value-chain actors including, seed breeders, seed growers, agro dealers, processors among others for the promotion of the new maize variety.

Dr Ennin noted that, the agricultural industry in the country, needed varieties of crops that would provide food security, improve the economic fortunes of farmers and at the same time, promote good health of consumers which CRI was doing its best to working towards.

FROM FAUSTINA KWABEA OSEI, ASANTE MAMPONG.

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