CSIR organises results demonstration for cassava farmers at Asesewa


By Michael Kofi Kenetey 

The Crop Research Institute, CRI, under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), with support from the Central and West African Virus Epidemiology, WAVE has organised fieldwork for cassava farmers at Asesewa in the Upper Manya Krobo District of the Eastern Region.

The Crop Research Institute of CSIR embarked on this project over a year ago to help cassava farmers in the Upper Manya Krobo District produce high yields in cassava production and help to catalyse sustainable protection and productivity growth of root and tuber crops through improved understanding and management of cassava viral diseases in Ghana. Last year, WAVE organised a sensitization and awareness-creation campaign to educate the farmers in the district on viral diseases that affect cassava production in the country.

The fieldwork is to help demonstrate the yields of improved varieties of cassava and local cassava materials that the research institute, together with the farmers, planted a year ago. Some of the improved cassava varieties planted include Agra, CRI-Abrabopa, Bankyehemaa, and Debor.

In an interview with GBC Sunrise FM during the improved cassava varieties yield demonstration, the Project Leader of the Central and West African Virus Epidemiology for Food Security for Root and Tuber Crops in Ghana, Dr. Allen Oppong, urged farmers to adopt the improved cassava varieties as such varieties are resistant to diseases and drought and produce higher yields within a year after planting as compared to the local varieties.

Dr. Allen Oppong.

Dr. Oppong further noted that the demonstration is also to help the farmers compare and contrast the local and improved varieties to find the ones that produce higher yields.

The Upper Manya Krobo District Agriculture Director, Debrah Appiah-Agyekum, also recommended the improved varieties to farmers. He noted that, as a directorate, they are always ready to offer technical advice and support to the farmers, adding that they will provide the planting materials of the improved varieties to the farmers so they can plant them in large quantities.

Debrah Appiah-Agyekum.

An Agriculture Extension Officer in charge of the CRI Demonstration in the Upper Manya Krobo District, Norbert Lawer, hinted that though the improved cassava varieties were planted during the drought period, the varieties produced higher yields because of their resistance to drought.

Some of the farmers also recounted their opinions and observations on the improved cassava varieties and noted that they would adopt the varieties in order to produce higher yields of cassava in the district.

The results demonstration brought together over 50 cassava farmers from communities such as Akohia, Sekesua, Abertima, Bormase, Akrusi, and Agriculture Extension Officers and Officers from the Agriculture Directorate in the district, among others.

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