Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR–SARI) is in advanced stages of releasing three new varieties of groundnut and a soybean variety onto the market for cultivation.
The new groundnut varieties have been checked together with the existing ones and proven to be highly resistant to infections, which are the main devastation issues affecting groundnut production in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
They also produce better yields, possess nutritional benefits such as high oleic and higher amount of protein, and are early maturing.
The new soybean variety offers high grain yield of up to 3.5 tonnes per hectare, high leaf output and produces higher quality soymilk than existing varieties.
The new varieties are being developed by the CSIR – SARI, in collaboration with partners, including tropical legumes II, and tropical legumes III projects, United States Agency for International Development, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Dr Richard Oteng-Frimpong, a Research Scientist at CSIR-SARI, one of the researchers working on the project, who made a presentation on the new varieties at a meeting with members of the National Variety Release and Registration Committee (NVRRC) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture at Nyankpala, on Tuesday, said the release of the varieties would boost groundnut production in the country.
Members of the NVRRC visited the on-site trial of the new varieties at Nyankpala in the Tolon District of the Northern Region to assess the crops, which were at the vegetative stage.
Members of the NVRRC will return in early October to finally assess the crops at their maturity stage and make recommendations as to whether or not they should be released onto the market for cultivation.
Dr Oteng-Frimpong said the new groundnut varieties also produced a lot of fodder to feed animals, especially during the dry season, adding that, the fodder was high in nutrients and had better digestibility.
He said the three groundnut varieties matured from 90 to 95 days, 100 to 105 days, and 120 days adding that, they were suited for the northern part of the country.
Dr Robert Agyeibi Asuboah, Acting Executive Director of the Grains and Legumes Development Board, and Member of the NVRRC, after assessing the crops on the field and critiquing presentations on their development, commended researchers for a great work done on the project so far.
Dr Asuboah said after the final assessment of the crops in October, if satisfied, the NVRRC would recommend to the Minister of Food and Agriculture for the release of the crops following which the crops would be added to the national catalogue.
Dr Stephen Nutsugah, Director of CSIR-SARI said the Institute was poised to undertake research and come out with varieties to boost agricultural production to ensure food security in the country.
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