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31.03.2004 Health

Farmers advised to plant only certified and healthy seeds

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Fumesua (Ash), March. 31, GNA - A Research Scientist has stated that the country could attain food security only when farmers were educated enough on the benefit of certified and healthy seeds and were prepared to crop them. Dr Opoku-Ahwenie Danquah, Research Plant/Seed Pathologist at the Crops Research Institute (CRI) who made the point said apart from being free of diseases, certified or healthy seeds also had the capacity of generating higher crop yields.

He was opening a three-day training workshop on Seed Health Technology Transfer, organised by the CRI for stakeholders in agriculture at Fumesua, near Kumasi on Tuesday. It was sponsored by the Agricultural Sub-Sector Investment Project (ASSIP) and was attended by 20 participants, made up of farmers and Agricultural Extension Service Agents, from the Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions. The workshop was designed to improve upon the skills and capacity of the participants and to educate them on the benefit of healthy and quality seeds, so as to enable them in-turn to educate their colleagues on the value of such seeds.

He expressed regret that as a result of ignorance about the benefits of healthy seeds many farmers continued to plant seeds that had been stored from harvest, known as "Save Seeds". Dr Danquah advocated an intensive and sustained educational programmes in the various farming communities about the need for farmers to make more use of certified seeds for planting.

Dr Peter Sallah, Acting Director of the CRI, said, for those farmers who still desired to use Save Seeds, they should strive at all cost to ensure that they separate the clean seeds from the dirty and diseased ones before planting. He observed that the proper development of crops depended on the quality and nature of the seeds planted, and therefore asked farmers to endeavour to always use healthy seeds.

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