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Business News of Friday, 10 June 2016

Source: Saaka Alhassan

SARI proposes five new Cowpea genotypes for release

The Savannah Agricultural Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-SARI) has proposed five cowpea genotypes to the National Varietal Release and Registration Committee (NVRRC) for official approval for production by farmers in Ghana.

The cowpea genotypes have undergone a process of multiple on-farm trials with the participation of farmers to establish their adaptability to the targeted agro-ecological zones and their suitability for the end users.

The new varieties, according to researchers, will make it easier for farmers to increase their substantial crop yield seasonally.

During a visit to some cowpea site at Golinga in the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region, Lead Scientist, Dr. Francis Kusi explained that cowpea production is one of the easiest ways by which local farmers can raise capital.

He said SARI through the Cowpea Improvement Programme, used a combination of modern and conventional technology which makes it close to impossible to notice the difference in conventional seeds and the improved seeds.

The Director of SARI Dr. Steven Nutsugah also said it is a ground breaking event and a privilege to SARI to be able to use biotechnology to come out with such a wonderful work.

The research work started in 2008 when the lead scientist Dr. Francis Kusi and his colleagues identified new sources of cowpea aphid resistant genotypes.

However, farmers are complaining of incessant threats from pests such as aphids and striga.