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CSIR – SARI develops biological fertilizer
Posted on: 18-Jun-2013         Source: GNA
Microbiologists at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR – SARI) in the Northern Region, have developed a biological fertilizer (Rhizobium Inoculant Technology) to aid cowpea production.

This biological fertilizer enhances small-holder cowpea legume production by doubling yields at a cheaper cost compared to normal fertilizers.

CSIR – SARI collaborated with its foreign counterpart, EMBRAPA Agrobiology of Brazil to develop the technology from June 2011 to May 2013.

It was launched at the offices of CSIR – SARI at Nyankpala in the Northern Region on Monday and witnessed by research scientists and farmers.

Mr William Atakora, a Research Technician at CSIR – SARI, made a presentation on the technology on behalf of Dr Mathias Fosu, Ghanaian Collaborator at CSIR – SARI.

Mr Atakora said: “The large increases in grain yield obtained in two field experiments and 31 on-farm trials show that for an extremely small investment (US$5 to 6 per ha), between 300 and 1200 kilogrammes of extra grains can be harvested.”

Cowpea is a high protein crop mostly cultivated by women and an increase in yield will boost energy and protein supply to children and hence enhance their health, while surplus yields can be sold to contribute to the empowerment of women.

Mr Atakorah said the next step was to up-scale the inoculant production and distribution.

He said 20 extension agents from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture had been trained while 66 others were currently undergoing training to disseminate the technology amongst farmers throughout the country.

Dr James Kombiok, Deputy Director of CSIR – SARI, called on farmers to patronize the technology to increase yield.

Dr Lucia Helena Boddey, a microbiologist from EMBRAPA Agrobiology, Brazil, said the project was being considered for funding by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, and by the Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa-