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Business News of Saturday, 22 December 2012

Source: GNA

CSIR releases eight new maize and soybean varieties to farmers

Five new maize genotypes and three new soybean genotypes have been released onto the Ghanaian agricultural sector for cultivation and consumption.

The maize genotypes include DT Syn-1- W (Sanzal-sima), IWD C3 Syn F2 (Ewul-boyu), TZE – Y DT STR C4 (Bihilifa), GH120 DYF/D Pop (Tigli), and TZE – W DT STR C4 (Wang Dataa) while the soybean genotypes are Afayak, Songda, and Suong – Pungun.

The National Variety Release and Technical Committee under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) announced the release of the genotypes at the premises of the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) at Nyankpala near Tamale in the Northern Region.

The genotypes which took five years to develop were proposed for release by CSIR – SARI in collaboration with CSIR – Crop Research Institute and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan, Nigeria.

Two other maize genotypes and two other soybean genotypes proposed for release were not approved because more consultations was needed with the stakeholders especially farmers to ascertain their acceptability of the genotypes.

Mr Manu Addae, Deputy Director in-charge of Crop Research at MoFA, who announced the release of the genotypes, said “the maize genotypes have higher acceptability ratings among farmers in terms of yield, tolerance to drought and striga and good grain qualities and will assist in combating the effects of on-going climate change on maize production.”

The maize genotypes take between 90 days to 115 days to mature with potential yields ranging from 4.5 tonnes per hectare to 5.4 tonnes per hectare.

Both the maize and soybean genotypes are more adapted to Guinea and Sudan Savannas (climatic conditions) of northern Ghana, which are more challenged with such constraints as drought and striga infestation.

Mr Addae advised researchers to be meticulous when researching into developing new crop varieties.

Dr Stephen Nutsugah, Director of CSIR – SARI, said the release of the genotypes reaffirmed SARI’s commitment to its mandate and core business in the area of crop improvement.

Dr Nutsugah commended the research scientists who worked on the genotypes and noted that the cultivation of the genotypes would help achieve food security in the country.

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