The Crops Research Institute, of the CSIR in collaboration with International Maize and Wheat Improvement has introduced a new maize hybrid from the combination of three inbred lines or three-way crops.
The maize which is among the six hybrid orange maize varieties introduced by the Institutes has a high level of pro-vitamins which is adaptive to growing conditions in Ghana with a maturing period of one hundred and 10 days with its yielding potentials between five to six tons per acre.
A maize breeder, Dr Manfred Ewool is the leader of the team that came out with the new variety.
The research into the new orange maize produced by the Crops Research Institute CRI of the CSIR took more than 10 years to produce.
The new maize is rich in various food nutrients and improves eye site, enhances skin colour, good for poultry feed and above high yields between five and six tons per acre.
Ghana currently spends between five and eight million cedis a year to import high brid maize seed. It is to address this challenge that the CRI with partnership of other research institutions came out with the new variety.
At a meeting with crops growers and farmers at Asuoyeboa in Kunasi, the Ashanti Regional Director of Agriculture Rev. John Manu expressed the need for continues research into improving upon new varieties.
It can also be a backbone in sustaining the planting for food and jobs programme introduced by government three years ago.
Rev. Manu told participants mainly seed inspectors, farmers and seed growers under the Harvest plus maize Project that Ghana is on track on its effort at achieving food sufficiency in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him emphasis is gradually shifting from Open Pollination Variety (OPV) to the Hybrid which have advantages of yielding about twice the OPVs.
Touching on the government intervention in the agriculture sector, he noted that the government is determined to make the country self-sufficient in maize hybrid production and help increase Export for foreign exchange.
The director of Crops Research Institute Dr. Moses Brandford Mochiah advised farmers not to use their own safe seeds for planting in the next season as this will not produce good yield but rather will disaggregate the hybrid one.
He advised the farmers to buy the seeds from the research institutes.
The project Leader Dr. Manfred Ewool, indicated that about 72 percent of children under 5 are affected by Vitamin A deficiency resulting in 17 thousand 200 death annually whiles the prevalence of Vitamin A deficiency in Ghana is partly attributed to low bio-available Vitamin A in the predominant cereal, root and tuber crop based consumed by adults as well as infants.
He said Pro- Vitamin A maize variety is a feasible approach to minimize Vitamin A deficiency.