GBC Ghana Online

Kongo: Field Day for farmers on Improved Frara Potato Varieties

By Emmanuel Akayeti.

More than 120 farmers have participated in a field day demonstration on improved Frara Potato varieties held at Kongo in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region, with the aim of reviving neglected and underutilized crops as in Frafra Potato and Fonio in Ghana.

The participants came from Nabdam and Talensi Districts and their adjoining farming communities which formed part of the case study areas for the project. Some of the farmers expressed joy that the new varieties which can be vegetatively propagated, gives more yield and matures earlier than the indigenous method of propagation by seed tubers.

Naab Modesta, a Farmer said it was easy for her to raise the types of mounds required for planting the new varieties with stem cutting propagation.

‘’Apart from that it gives maximum yield with less cost’’, she noted.

Another Farmer Robert Babil stated that, with the high yields, it augments the family food security and income.

‘’Besides, it is easier to preserve the seed than the difficulties associated with cultivating the local variety’’.

The Field Day was organized by the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-SARI) in collaboration with the Departments of Agriculture in the Talensi and Nabdam Districts of the Upper East Region.

This was part of the EWA-BELT Project being implemented in Ghana by the CSIR-SARI and Kundok Development Consult (KDC), a private limited Company based in Tamale, but operating in the North East and Upper East Region.

The research was funded by the EU H2020 EWA-BELT project [862848] “Linking East and West African farming systems experience into a BELT of sustainable intensification”, coordinated by the Desertification Research Centre of the University of Sassari”.

In our Interview with GBC’s Correspondent Emmanuel Akayeti in Kongo, Director of Kundok Development Consult (KDC), Dr. James Kombiok indicated that the project is made up of work packages 1 to 7 with twenty partners across the world.

Package One is administration, which is handled in Italy with Package 2 to 7 handled by individual Institutions.

Work package two he said, comprises 6 African countries, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone in West Africa and Tanzania Kenya and Ethiopia in East Africa. Dr Kombiok added that KDC and CSIR-SARI are collaborating in a number of Tasks in the Work Package two (WP2), one of which is reviving neglected and underutilized crops, such as Frafra Potato (FP) and Fonio which are considered as such in Ghana.

‘’CSIR-SARI has expertise in FP while KDC is good in Fonio cultivation hence their intersection’’.

The Acting Director and Senior Research Scientist (Entomologist) of CSIR-SARI, Dr. Francis Kusi stated that, CSIR-SARI use technology to make farming productive for the farmers so that we can help fight the food security problem faced as a country and to also use farming as a wealth creation tool as in Planting for Food and Jobs.

‘’ FP is CSIR-SARI’s target as one of the underutilized crops that has great food, nutrition and medicinal value’’, he noted.

Dr. Kusi was grateful to the EWA-Belt project for making it possible for farmers to benefit from CSIR-SARI’s technology of the improved FP to boost their production toward food security in Ghana especially propagation through the stem cutting technology.

The Coordinator of the EWA-Belt project and a Senior Research Scientist with the CSIR-SARI Dr Joseph Adjebeng-Danquah said the project is under the Horizon 2020 (H 2020) and in Ghana, CSIR-SARI is working in four key study areas which are formed into a Farmer Field Research Unit.

Two in the Upper East Region, one in the North East and the other in the Northern Region. The Upper East Regional Crops Officer Joseph Diedong on behalf of the Regional Director, Department of Agriculture said MoFA is the link between research and the farmers by extension and the field demonstration was to open up the farmers and MoFA for to up scale the cultivation of FP across the 15 Municipalities and Districts in the Upper East Region.

Exit mobile version