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Farmers schooled on improved variety of cereals
Posted on: 07-Oct-2013         Source: GNA
Some farmers in the Upper East Region, have been schooled to appreciate the intricacies of agricultural trials to reduce crops susceptibly to aflatoxin and parasites.

The farmers who were drawn from the Kassena-Nankana and Bongo districts were taken through typical farm field day’s work at Samboligo where they shared skills on mother trials instituted by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) at Bongo, in collaboration with the Savanna Agriculture Research Institute (SARI).

Mr Peter Asuure, an Agronomist, said four best entries of a new Sorghum crop brought from Nigeria are being assessed to unveil their agronomic attributes.

He said those that would yield well and adjust to the climatic conditions would be expanded on other trials.

Mr Asuure said farmers had identified a type of Sorghum known as ‘Kapaala’ with closed heads and high water retention that keeps the crop moldy.

He said the new variety opens up for quick drying of the seeds, which prevents susceptibility to aflatoxins and insect invasion.

Mr Julius Yirzagla, an Agronomist with SARI said regional trials of 12 entries of cowpea and 16 trials of soya beans are underway at Bongo District and Kassena-Nankana in the Upper East, Tamale in the Northern Region and Wa in the Upper West Region.

Alhaji Musbau Ahmed, Bongo District Director of MOFA said the project, is being sponsored by the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) , Africa Rising Programme, based in Ibadan Nigeria with support from United States Agency for International Development.

Mr Amadu Alhassan, of the IITA indicated said the Africa Rising Programme has a mandate to intensify cereal based agriculture with livestock integration in Africa.

He said contacts and community analysis conducted with farmers in the region identified challenges such as striga, drought and low crop yields as problems.

Mr Alhassan said the intervention sought to promote drought tolerant crops with partners for the next five years.

The farmers were also introduced to crops like groundnuts, being trial for early maturity.

They were also taken through best practices for spraying regimes of cowpea, groundnuts and harvesting.