The Savanna Agricultural Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-SARI) has launched a project to enhance farmers’ access to quality maize hybrid seed.
The two-year project entitled: “Production and Promotion of Foundation Seeds of Improved Stress Tolerant Maize Hybrids in Ghana”, is supported by Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and being implemented by CSIR-SARI in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
It is aims at up scaling foundation seed production of four hybrids, most preferred by farmers for certified seed production to the benefit of smallholder farmers in the country, which include drought and striga tolerant top-cross hybrids such as Kpari-Faako, Kunjor-Wari, Tintim and Opaeburo.
Dr Stephen Nutsugah, Director of CSIR-SARI, who launched the project at Nyankpala, near Tamale, said it was in tandem with the policy objectives of the National Seed Plan to create an environment conducive for the orderly growth and balanced development of the seed industry.
Dr Nutsugah said the project would greatly contribute in boosting maize-based cropping system productivity, increase food security, improve incomes of rural farmers and reduce poverty in the three regions.
He said 4,000 clients in major maize producing areas would be reached with extension materials on the selected hybrids while some staff of seed enterprises would be trained on hybrid maize seed production techniques.
He expressed gratitude to AGRA for its increasing and sustainable support for research in the northern part of the country.
Ms Gloria Boakyewaa Adu, Maize Breeder at CSIR-SARI said the project would enhance farmers’ access to quality maize hybrid seed, by bridging the gap of shortfall in certified seed availability in the country through increasing and maintaining the physical and genetic purity of breeder and foundation seeds of stress tolerant maize hybrids.