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Business News of Sunday, 29 December 2019

Source: ghananewsagency.org

Farmers advised to plant improved seed varieties

Farmers in Babile in the Upper West Region have been advised to cultivate improved seed varieties to increase yield.

Mr Dangana Mahama, the Agricultural Research Station Manager, said planting improved seeds could double productivity as compared to the conventional seeds, which had the potential to transform their economies.

Mr Mahama said this during a field day in Babila, organised for farmers from some communities in the Lawra Municipality, to enable them to appreciate the performance of improved seed varieties under good agronomic practices.

The programme demonstrated fields for newly released crop varieties comprising sorghum, cowpea, soybeans, maize and orange fleshed sweet potatoes.

It was funded by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) for farmers to have access to improved seeds under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) Programme.

"One of the five pillars of the PFJ is to make improved seeds available to farmers to increase adoption rate since most farmers obtain seeds for planting through the informal means," Mr Mahama said.

He said the seed varieties demonstrated at the Babile Agricultural Research Station were high yielding and had short maturity period.

The soybean variety, for instance, had a maturity period of between 90 to 110 days while the Kapaala sorghum variety matures between 110 to 115 days.

"We took the farmers through the various plots for them to compare yields between varieties to make informed choices of the crop variety to select based on the agro ecological condition of the area," he noted.

Mr Mahama encouraged the farmers to adopt the good agronomic practices they were exposed to during the demonstration to maximise benefits from their farming activities.

Some of the farmers who spoke to the Ghana News Agency expressed appreciation to the organisers for the exercise as it would help them improve on their farming activities.

"Now I will be able to choose the appropriate crop to plant because I have seen the yield of all the crops and I also know how to plant them and how to apply the fertilizer," Madam Vuor Esther, a farmer at Kunykuo, said.

In all, 80 farmers, comprising 33 females and 47 males from eight communities, participated in the demonstration exercise.