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Business News of Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Source: ghananewsagency.org

Sissala East farmers introduced to groundnut varieties resistant to aflatoxins

Farmers in the Sissala East Municipality have been introduced to a new variety of groundnut seeds, which agricultural scientists describe as high yielding and resistant to aflatoxins.

The varieties produced by an international crop institute include; Sarinuts 22 and 23 which take 100 days to mature with an average yield of 2.4 ton/ha and 2.2 tons/ha respectively.

Yenyawoso has a 90-day maturity period and an average yield of 2.7 tons/ha while Sarinuts matures in 110 days and has an average yield of 3.0 ton/ha.
The others are; Nkatiesari with 110 maturity period and an average yield of 2.7; Oboshie 110 days to mature and has an average yield of 2.6 tons/ha.

“Some of the varieties are best for extraction of oil, while others are for making groundnut paste,” the Upper West Regional Crops Officer, Mr Hudu Abu, told participants at a seed fair in Tumu, where the varieties were showcased.

The seed fair was hosted by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, which displayed the newly improved varieties of groundnut seeds, researched and produced by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, according to Agric officials.

“The new varieties are high yielding and can boost productivity for income improvement of farmers as yield per unit area can get high,” Mr Abu said: “The new variety also resists aflatoxins infections”.

The Sissala East Municipal Director of Agriculture, Mr Clement Kawuribe, said farmers were using old and low yielding varieties over the years, which were not productive and also contained high levels of aflatoxins.

“What precipitates aflatoxins infection in groundnuts are from poor drying, poor handling and delay in harvesting which causes conditions for cancer and this leads to rejection of the product and affects its marketability,” he said.

He said as farmers were being sensitised on the dangers of aflatoxins in groundnuts, the agriculture department was equally putting in place measures to realign the new varieties to mitigate climate change effect on crop cultivation.