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03.03.2005 Regional News

MOFA introduces high yielding crops

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Wa, March 3, GNA - The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has introduced high yielding and early maturing crops in the Upper West Region to reverse food insecurity in the Region.

The intervention include a new sorghum variety called "Kapaala" which can also be cultivated as raw material for the Brewery industry and early maturing and high yielding cassava.

Dr Mark Hanson, acting Regional Director of Food and Agriculture, made these known when he gave an overview of agricultural activities in the Region at a day's workshop on "Agricultural Applications of Climate Forecast", in Wa on Wednesday.

The Savanna Agricultural Research Institute, the University of Florida and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the US jointly organized the workshop.

Dr Hanson said 900 bundles of cassava planting materials had been distributed to 682 farmers in the Wa Municipality and the Nadowli District.

He said 144 farmers in the Jirapa/Lambussie and Nadowli districts had been supported by MOFA to cultivate 558 hectares of cashew and inter-crop with food crops.

Mr Ambrose Dery, Regional Minister, who opened the workshop, said rain-fed agriculture was the major cause of the problems confronting agriculture in the Region.

He said the Regional Coordinating Council was working closely with the Irrigation Development Authority to construct dams and dugouts in every district.

Mr Dery urged the participants who were made up of farmers, agricultural extension officers and representatives of Non-Governmental Organizations to exploit the potentials of crops such as, soya bean, cotton, groundnuts and sorghum for the development of the Region.

Dr Shrikant Jagtap, a representative of the University of Florida called for the mobilization of all stakeholders to deal with the impact of climatic changes on agriculture.

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