Workshop to showcase agricultural technologies held in Tamale

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Participants during the workshop
Participants during the workshop

A two-day consultative workshop to enable stakeholders in the agriculture sector to showcase new agricultural technologies has been held in Tamale.

Participants during the workshop
Participants during the workshop

Technologies and crops showcased were those legally released, registered and ready for commercialisation and upscaling of other technologies that would be ready in coming years.

It was attended by research scientists from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI), seed companies, outgrower businesses, agro-input dealers, agro-processors, and equipment dealers from the northern sector of the country to dialogue on advancing research and technology to sustainably improve productivity.

It was organised by the Feed the Future Ghana Market Systems and Resilience (Ghana MSR) Activity, which is sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development.

Mr Musa Salifu Taylor, Capacity Building Team Leader at Ghana MSR Activity, speaking during the workshop, said it was to have a general overview of technology varieties currently being commercialised, including a statement on their trade and availability of breeder and foundational systems.

He said it was also to evaluate the various varieties that were ready for release in 2024 as well as other varieties that were not yet released but were in the pipeline to being released in the next three to five years.

He said, “We want to also see a clear arrangement on how private sector can contribute to the processes in releasing and commercialising new varieties.”

Dr Isaac Kodzo Amegbor, a Research Scientist and maize breeder at CSIR-SARI, said CSIR-SARI had already developed four technologies namely early, extra early, medium and late breeds.

He said, “The early and extra early mature in less than 95 days whilst the medium and the late mature in 110 days or more.”

He said three other hybrid varieties, including the three fall armyworm hybrids, were released in 2023 and had been recommended by the National Varietal Release Committee for approval.

Dr Amegbor said other pro-vitamin A hybrids were available for uptake whilst other varieties with high content in zinc and iron were being processed.

Dr Amos Rutherford, National President, National Seed Trade Association of Ghana, bemoaned the lack of adequate investment and research in the seed development sector, which contributed to the increasing food insecurity and malnutrition.

He expressed need for the private sector to complement government’s efforts towards making quality seeds available and accessible, especially to smallholder farmers to enhance production.

Mr Prince Namkazoa Yelabeyiani, a vegetable farmer in the Mion District of the Northern Region, expressed need to promote technological adoption, enhance research and development as well as increase capacity building of women, who were mostly into vegetable farming, to improve their income.

By Solomon Gumah, GNA

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