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02.10.2005 Regional News

Minister urges farmers to embrace improved crop varieties

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Lambussie (UW), Oct. 2, GNA - Mr Ambrose Dery, Upper West Regional Minister on Friday urged farmers to embrace and adopt improved varieties of staple and cash crops being introduced to them by non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders.

He said the improved crop varieties had been proven to be yielding much higher returns on their investments.

Mr Dery made this appeal at a farmers' field day organized by Technoserve/Ghana, an NGO in collaboration some partners in the Lambussie community.

The essence of the field day held at the farm of a collaborative partner farmer, was let the farmers appreciate the difference in yields between the improved and traditional crop varieties. The collaborative partner farmer divided his three-acre plot into two equal sizes of which one was used to plant the improved variety of maize, sorghum, cowpea, and soybean with the appropriate agronomic practices.

The remaining half of the field was also planted with the traditional variety of the same crops on the same day. During inspection of the two farms, one did not need to be convinced as to which of the two farms planted on the same day did better.

According to Technoserve/Ghana, the improved crop variety yields al least five times higher than the traditional variety. Mr Dery, whose speech was read on his behalf, appealed to farmers in the region who had been trained in the cultivation of the improved crop variety share their experience with other farmers so as to ensure the early and total adoption of the new crop variety. The Minister said with the gradual substitution of maize and sorghum by breweries in the country for some imported components, farmers should be assured of ready market to step up production.

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