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16.08.2005 Regional News

Workshop on hybrid maize-seed production opens in Kumasi

GNA

Kumasi, Aug. 16, GNA - A two-day training workshop on hybrid maize-seed production opened at the Kwadaso Soil Research Institute (SRI) in Kumasi on Tuesday.

The workshop, which is being organised by the Food Crops Development Project (FCDP) in collaboration with the Crops Research Institute (CRI) and the Grains and Legumes Development Board (GLDP), aims at building the capacities and update the skills of the seed inspectors and growers to enable them to provide the needed quality seeds to support farmers. Thirty-five selected seed inspectors, growers and dealers nationwide are attending the workshop.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Emmanuel K. T. Frimpong, National Co-ordinator of the FCDP, said quality seed production contributed significantly in achieving food security. He said seed production was therefore, a vital component in the FCDP, which was being funded by the African Development Bank and the Government of Ghana at a total cost of 15.67 million dollars. Mr Frimpong said the project sought to enhance food security, improve upon the nutritional status of the farmers and improve on their income generation abilities.

He said under the project, 36 seed inspectors and 300 seed growers and dealers had been trained in the production of quality seed. Mr Frimpong mentioned inadequate supply of improved seed, inadequate storage facilities, sale of adulterated seed, the absence of a national seed law and inadequate national seed reserves as some of the challenges facing the project.

He called for the strengthening of collaboration of all stakeholders in the seed production industry to improve accessibility of quality seeds to farmers.

Mr Christian Adu Nti, Ashanti Regional Director of Food and Agriculture, said the desire by the government to increase local food production and cut down on imports could only be achieved through the use of good quality and high yielding seeds.

He said the hybrid maize developed by the CRI had proved to be high yielding and urged the participants to maximise the advantages of the hybrids to satisfy the growing demand by farmers without compromising on quality.

Dr John Nuamah Asafu-Agyei, Director of CRI, in an address read for him, said the institute had released nutritionally enhanced varieties of maize, rice, cowpea, soybeans and groundnuts for home consumption as well as the livestock and poultry industries.

He said the hybrids were highly productive and had superior nutritional value and appealed to the participants to propagate it to enable farmers adopt and improve food production in the country.

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