Kwamekrom (W/R), Sept. 14, GNA - Forty-Two farmers drawn from 22 communities within the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai District of the Western Region, have benefited from a training programme on the detection and selection of healthy seeds for planting.
The training programme made up of a field day and lectures on the physical examination of crops cultivated with healthy seeds and those cropped with unhealthy seeds was under the Capacity Enhancement Project of the Seed Health Technology Transfer Scheme.
It was organised by the Crop Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research(CSIR) in collaboration with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the Agriculture Sub Sector Investment Project (AGSSIP) and funded by DANIDA.
Addressing the farmers on the field Day at Kwamekrom, near Bibiani on Tuesday, Dr.O.A. Danquah, Co-ordinator of the Project, deplored the practice by farmers to cultivate large tracts of land without using healthy and certified seeds for planting.
Dr. Danquah who is also a Research Plant and Seed Pathologist at the CRI said efforts of farmers would not benefit the economy with the use of unhealthy seeds despite the acreage and fertiliser or agro-chemicals used on the crops to increase production.
Dr. Ernest Asiedu, a Seed Technologist at the CRI, stressed the need for farmers not only to use certified seeds in planting but also ensure that they conduct germination test on such seeds before planting. Dr. K.A. Marfo, a Senior Economist at the CRI, asked rice farmers to endeavour to improve on the quality of rice they produced to compete with imported rice.
"Banning importation of rice is not difficult, the only way to get imported rice out of the local market is to improve upon the quality of local and indigenous rice", he stressed.
Nana Kwasi Nipa, Chief of Kwamekrom, appealed to the Government to assist rice farmers within the Kwamekrom valley with an irrigation system because changes in the rainfall pattern affects rice production