Scientists at the Crop Research Institute (CRI) of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) at Fumesua in the Ashanti Region have introduced high yielding, disease and draught-resistant crops into agriculture in Ghana.
The newly developed crops comprise varieties of maize, beans, plantain, cassava, cocoyam, banana, cowpea, potato, groundnuts, pepper, cocoyam and yam. Also developed is a high technology and fast yielding fish pond.The scientists have as well introduced new methods and technologies that make the planting and harvesting of tubers easier and less cumbersome.
The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan, expressed his satisfaction with the developments. He said Ghanaian scientist were among the finest in the world and as such urged farmers to take advantage of the new crops to increase their farm yields.
The launch of the newly developed crops took place on the CRI’s open day, a day on which the institute opens its doors to the general public. It was on the theme, “Agricultural Research: A Catalyst for National Development.”
The day is marked every year to introduce to the world discoveries made by scientists of the institute. In attendance were policy makers, Members of Parliament (MP), both subsistence and commercial farmers, students and the general public.
In an interview during the ceremony, Dr Alhassan observed that Ghana was endowed with a rich research infrastructure and competent and qualified research scientists who were keen to play their role to deliver appropriate technology for the growth and sustainability of agriculture in the country.
According to him, the newly developed crops were created in response to complaints from farmers about their low yielding crops which were also badly affected by drought and crop diseases.
Dr Alhassan urged non-governmental organisations spearheading campaigns against new scientific developments in agriculture to discontinue, since all the newly developed and engineered crops had been certified by local and international scientists to be safe for the environment.
By: Donald Ato Dapatem
Date: Monday, 18 August 2014 12:03