Dr. Manfred B. Ewool, Senior Research Scientist at the Crops Research Institute (CRI) has said that the institute, with support from the World Food Programme, has targeted about 7,500 farmers for the production and dissemination, of the newly introduced vitamin ‘A’ yellow and orange maize varieties in selected communities in the Ashanti, Bono and Bono East Regions of Ghana.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Ejura-Badukrom, in the Ejura-Sekyedumase District of the Ashanti Region, he said the programme had seen massive patronage of the vitamin A yellow and orange maize varieties by farmers in these areas, after the setting up of vitamin ‘A’ yellow and orange maize demonstration farms.
He said so far, more farmers have opted for the new maize varieties, because of its high yield, disease resistance, tolerance to drought and excellent for food production and industrial use.
Dr. Ewool said in the major season of this year, 2.7 tons of seeds of these vitamin ‘A’ yellow and orange maize varieties were distributed to farmers in 28 of the targeted communities. He added that, group demonstrations were undertaken through the Enhanced Nutrition and Value Chains (ENVAC), a project being implemented by World Food Programme and CRI in Ashanti, Bono and Bono East Regions of Ghana.
He expressed satisfaction with how most farmers admired the new vitamin ‘A’ maize varieties for their potential yield and ability to perform under moderate water stress.
Dr. Ewool therefore entreated farmers in the targeted communities to embrace the newly introduced maize varieties, to enable them to improve their standard of living.
Mrs. Lydia Brobbey, a Sociologists at the CRI introduced farmers to the use of the Innovative Platform (IP), a platform that brings all the maize value chain actors together and identifies challenges in the chain and how to solve these challenges.
Mr. Frank Coffie Danso, a maize breeder at CRI, educated farmers on the steps to take in cultivating the yellow and orange maize varieties.