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New crop varieties introduced to Wenchi farmers

An improved variety of cassava, maize, groundnut, cowpea, and yam has been introduced to selected farmers in the Wenchi Municipality of the Bono Region.

The new locally-produced crop varieties which aimed at enhancing food crop production were developed by agricultural scientists in the universities and other research bodies, including the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Consequently, the Crop Services Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) organised a field demonstration exercise for the farmers and agric extension agents (AEAs) in the Wenchi Municipality of the Bono Region.

The demonstration exercise which took place at the Wenchi Agriculture Station was to introduce the selected farmers and AEAs to newly released crop varieties to enable the participants to familiarise themselves with them.

The Manager of Wenchi Agriculture Station, Robert Arthur, said the varieties had been approved by the National Seed Council, hence the field demonstration to expose them to farmers and AEAs.

The field exercise,  he noted was in line with the implementation of the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ policy of the government, saying, “One of the pillars of PFJ is to make improved seeds available to farmers to increase adoption rate since most farmers obtain seeds for planting through informal means.”

He added that the move would help address the situation where findings of agricultural scientists were left “to gather dust on the shelves.”

He explained that the new varieties were high yielding and had the potential to enhance farmers’ productivity to ensure food security, and therefore urged them to adopt it.

Meanwhile, the participants were also taken through a particular fertiliser verification trial protocol, developed by OCP Ghana, fertiliser manufacturing company.

The objective of the verification trial was to validate the performance and efficacy of OCP fertiliser formula designed to improve the yield of hybrid maize in the forest-savannah transitional zone.

According to Mr Arthur, the results of the verification trial would advise MoFA to consider the OCP fertiliser formulations, as part of fertiliser recommendations for farmers to use or otherwise.

On behalf of the farmers, the 2018 Wenchi Municipal Best Farmer, Robert Nsiah, commended MoFA for the initiative, adding that the demonstration exercise would broaden farmers’ knowledge about existing wide range of improved crop varieties.

He, however, appealed to the government to create marketing opportunities for domestic farm produces to make crop farming more profitable and attractive.

FROM DANIEL DZIRASAH, WENCHI

Pic: new varieties pic/Samba 9-09-19

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