Researchers To Release Improved Seeds To Farmers

The Savannah Agriculture Research Institute (SARI) is to release improved seeds to farmers in the Upper East Region.

The new improved seeds, which would include maize, millet, soya beans, cowpea and among others, are drought resistant and would assist farmers to overcome the erratic patterns of rainfall in the Region which usually affected crop production.

The West Africa Agriculture Productivity Programme (WAAPP) through the Research Extension Farmer Linkage Committee (RELC) supported SARI to conduct the research which resulted into improved seeds

A Senior Agriculture Scientist, Dr Roger Kanton who is in charge of SARI at Manga, said this at Bolgatanga on Tuesday during a Regional RELC Stakeholders meeting.

The two- day meeting, which attracted RELC members including researchers from the academia, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Animal Research Institute, District Directors of Agriculture, Agriculture Extension Agents and farmers was to review activities carried out by RELC in 2013 and plans for 2014 highlighting farmers constrains requiring research and other development attention.

Dr Kanton, also the Regional Coordinator of RELC, stated that SARI would help farmers in the Builsa South, Kassena-Nankana and other districts in the Region to carry out demonstrations on the improved seeds on farms and urged the Agriculture Directors to liaise with farmers to secure land for the proramme.

He said apart from the new improved seeds being drought resistant, they had the largest and good yields and farmers could reap a lot of benefits from them.

Dr Kanton said SARI and the Animal Research Institute would collaborate to address the problem of high mortality in guinea fowl keets in some of the districts in the Region to make the business of guinea fowl rearing attractive to help other farmers go into its production through developed and improved technology.

He said SARI would also help farmers on how to tackle the striga problem which attack cereals and leguminous crops through on farm demonstrations and help farmers in the districts that have soil fertility problems to go through soil fertility management training.

Dr Felix Anno-Nyarko, Technical Officer at the CSIR, said the programme was interested in turning the fortunes of farmers and appealed to the Directors of Agriculture to select the most deprived communities to enable the CSIR go into crop farming and animal husbandry.

Mr Mahama Samuel, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at the CSIR, told the stakeholders that the project development objective of WAAPP was to research, generate and disseminate improved technologies to help farmers to improve upon their farming activities

He said WAAPP was targeting 7,000,000 producers and processors of agriculture and that it was expected that 80 per cent of them after being exposed to the new technologies should adopt them.