In The News

Agriculturists meet on yam development

Agricultural scientists from Ghana, Uganda and Nigeria have met to develop high-yielding yam seeds that are disease-resistant. The effort is targeted at enhancing yam production for both the local and international markets.

The project, which is on a pilot basis, will take 36 months to complete and will cost about $4 million. It will involve improving the quality and productivity of about 3,000 smallholder farmers in eight growing communities, particularly in Ghana and Nigeria.

The project is on the theme: “Community action in improving farmer-saved seed yam,” and is being co-ordinated by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Kofi Annan Promotes Consumption of Sweet potatoes

A former United Nations Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan, and his wife, Nane, are collaborating with the International Potato Centre (CIP) to intensify a campaign on the consumption of sweet potatoes to improve the health of women and children less than five years.

The campaign, which is also intended to create wealth, is targeted at reaching at least 500,000 households in Ghana with resilient nutritious sweet potato by 2020.

2015 AGRITECH to help eliminate post-harvest challenges in Ghana

The Embassy of Israel will on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, hold a breakfast meeting for government officials, agricultural companies, big farmers, agro-processors, financial and investment institutions.

It will focus on agriculture and major private and public sector players in the field of agro-business and the media to serve as a briefing session on the prospects and projections of participation in Agricultural Technology (AGRITECH) 2015 in Israel. 

Trial of new cotton variety positive in 3 northern regions; But no commercialisation yet

A scientist at the Yam and Cotton Breeding Programme of the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), Dr Emmanuel Chamba, has confirmed that Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton trials in the three northern regions of the country have yielded positive results.

“What we did was that we had a quarter hectare Bt cotton and a quarter hectare non-Bt cottonlying side by side. We did that in six locations in the three northern regions,” he said.

Don’t settle displaced people on our land — CSIR

WORKERS of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Friday hit the streets of Amasaman in the Greater Accra Region to protest what they described as “an attempt by the Ga West Municipal Assembly to give the institute’s land to the displaced residents of Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Numbering about 500, the workers, wearing red armbands and holding placards, marched through the principal streets of Amasaman and converged on the 19 acres where the displaced residents of Sodom and Gomorrah would settle.

CRI loses 100 workers in 4 years; Tells govt to lift embargo on employment

The Crops Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has appealed to the government to lift the embargo on employment to enable the institute to replace its ageing workers.

Within four years, the institute has lost 100 workers, mostly experienced scientists, some of whom have resigned, while others have gone on retirement. The situation is likely to be aggravated by the fact that many more scientists are about to go on retirement.Currently, the institute has a workforce of 700.

Savanna Agricultural Institute to enhance rice production

The Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) has secured a $1 million World Bank grant to enhance local rice cultivation in the northern ecological zones of the country.

Dubbed the “System of Rice Intensification (SRI),” the three-year project seeks to train rice farmers on the correct  rice farming practices to ensure higher yields. It is being implemented by SARI in collaboration with the West African Agricultural Productivity.

Local farmers to benefit from GH¢90 million agric subsidy

Farmers are to benefit from a GH¢90 million subsidy on fertiliser and seeds this year, the Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Mr Fifi Kwetey, has said.

At the 2015 Fertiliser and Seed Subsidy Programme in Accra last Monday, Mr Kwetey said the subsidy would target smallholder farmers cultivating maize, rice, sorghum and millet, emphasising that food crop farmers would be given the priority.

Currently, the government is subsidising fertiliser at about 21 per cent.

YAM FARMERS EXPOSED TO SMART TECHNOLOGIES AMID CLIMATE THREAT

Yam farmers in parts of Ghana have been exposed to smart technologies required to build a resilient cropping system in order to increase yields to at least 30 per cent.

FOOD FAIR ORGANIZED BY CSIR-CROPS RESEARCH INSTITUTE AND PARTNERS

Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) has been a public health concern in developing countries including Ghana. Strategies to control VAD include dietary diversification, biofortification and vitamin A supplementation.

Dietary diversification which involves utilization of beta-carotene-rich crops such as orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP), yellow cassava and yellow maize has been the cheapest means of alleviating VAD.

WEST AFRICA AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY PROGRAMME (`WAAPP) INNOVATION PLATFORM FACILITATORS TRAINGNING ON SOFT SKILLS

A 3-day training workshop was organized at CSIR-Crops Research Institute (CSIR-CRI) on soft skills for facilitators of Innovation Platforms (IPs) in 1

5 districts of Ghana from 12th to 14th January, 2016. The objectives were to improve the knowledge base of facilitators and functionality of the IPs for effective technology dissemination and adoption and also to improve learning skills, conflict resolution, and multi-stakeholder process among others. Twenty four (24) extension facilitators from 14 districts were brought together for this training.

Ghana to overhaul agric with digital technology — Prez Mahama

Plans are underway to overhaul agriculture through the application of digital technology, President John Dramani Mahama has said.

With over 31 million mobile line subscribers in Ghana, he said the government was poised to apply mobile phone technology to reach out to farmers with new ideas, to improve production and their incomes.

Contributing to discussions at the 2015 Forbes Africa Forum in Brazzaville, Congo last

Tuesday, the President said digitised agriculture had the power to alleviate poverty and create wealth for the people.