Philip Tengzu, GNA
Babile (U/W), Sept. 19, GNA – Farmers in Lawra Municipality in the Upper West Region have expressed their contentment with the introduction of better-quality seed varieties geared towards improving farming activities and raising the economic status of farmers.
The varieties that include ‘wandata’ and ‘sinzasima’ maize; ‘fava’ soybeans, ‘wankai’ cowpea, ‘yenyaoso’ groundnuts; sorghum and sweet potatoes, have been certified by agriculturalist as early maturing and high yielding.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency at a farm demonstration for the new crop varieties at Babile Agricultural Satiation in the Lawra Municipality, Mr Naakpi Kuubenang, a farmer from Lawra, said the varieties would greatly help farmers because they have a short maturity period.
“We now have new seeds which can yield within 75 to 90 days, so if we still depend on the old seeds we will lose because the rains are not reliable”, he said.
Madam Augustine Sookutaa, also a farmer at Babile, said if the new varieties are being planted according to laid down agronomic practices with appropriate fertilizer application and weeding, there would be increased gains in produce.
“The new seed they brought, if you sow it, weed and apply the appropriate amount of fertilizer it will help you. This one is more beneficial than the old ones. When you sow it doesn’t reach four months before maturing, so I prefer the new one to the old one”, she said.
Mr Dangana Mahama, the Babile Agricultural Satiation Manager in charge of Crops, said the introduction of the improved crop varieties is in line with the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme to boost the agriculture sector.
Besides their high yielding and early maturing features, he said, the new seed varieties are also climate resilient and could resist drought and diseases.
“These are crops that we need to adopt so that we don’t grow one crop for a very long time, the system now is dynamic, things are changing every time with pests and diseases, environmental and climate change issues”, he said.
Mr Mahama said the exercise is being carried out in agriculture stations countrywide and farmers would be trained on planting, fertilizer application and harvesting to effectively manage their farms and derive maximum benefits.
Mr Martin Bomba-Ire, the Lawra Municipal Chief Executive, said the PFJ programme is meant to reduce hanger and improve livelihoods of farmers in the country adding that the effort is progressing steadily in the municipal areas.
He urged farmers to adopt the new improved seed varieties in order to reap more yields.