Awutu-Jakao (C/R), Nov. 21, GNA - The Crop Science Department of the University of Cape Coast will in February next year release two new high yielding varieties of cassava with high quality of starch for multiplication and distribution to farmers. Two other improved varieties namely "Nkabom and the IFAD" that had already been released to the Root and Tuber Improvement Programme (RTIP) for multiplication would be made available to farmers for planting early next year.
Dr. Jonathan Tettey of the CSD disclosed this to 50 crop farmers from the Awutu-Effutu-Senya district who were on a field trip at the Awutu-Jakao Cassava and Sweet Potato Demonstration farms near Awutu-Penim at the weekend.
The trip that was organized by the Awutu-Effutu-Senya district directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) to enable the farmers acquaint themselves with the new improved cassava and sweet potato varieties.
Dr. Tettey said all the improved varieties of the cassava would take 12 months to mature and that a hectare could produced between 40 and 50 tons, depending upon the soil as against 6-8 tons per hectare from the traditional cassava.
Dr. Tettey said the new sweet potato called Teksantom has also been released for multiplication and distribution to farmers.
He later demonstrated to the farmers how to grow the sweet potato with Nim tree leaves against weevils and pests in the soil, saying that there is chemical in the leaves that kill the pests.
Mr. Emmanuel Oduro, acting Awutu-Effutu-Senya District Director of the MOFA, appealed to farmers wishing to go into cassava and sweet potatoes production to obtain the improved varieties to enable them produce more and earn enough.