A two-day workshop on the production of hybrid seeds and introduction of seed to producers for high yielding of the new hybrid maize seed by the West Africa Center for Crop Improvement (WACCI) at the University of Ghana, has started at Koforidua.
The workshop, organized by WACCI with support from Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), is being attended by 46 participants including seed growers, representatives of seed companies, seed technicians, researchers and officials of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in the seed sector.
As part of the training programme, three new high yielding hybrid maize varieties with capacity to produce ten tons per hector which includes Abeefo Aburo, Akuafo Aburo and Aburo Lego developed by WACCI were introduced to the participants of the workshop. All the three maize varieties are early maturing maize varieties and take between 85 to 90 days to mature.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Professor Pangirayi B. Tongoona of WACCI, said many seed producers and seed companies are now focusing more on hybrid seeds, because of its high yields, which enable the companies and producers to increase their revenue and stay in business and also explained that, the workshop was aimed at educating the participants on how to maintain the parent lines to enable them produce high quality hybrid seed maize.
Desk Officer for Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) at the New Juaben South Municipal Assembly, Mr. Solomon Atipo, said the demand for hybrid seed maize under the PFJ are increasing due to the yields achieved by farmers who were privileged to plant some hybrid maize seeds, however, most of the maize seeds supplied to the municipality under the PFJ are open pollinated varieties and therefore appealed to seed producers in the Municipality to produce hybrid maize seeds to meet the demand of farmers in the Municipality.
The outgoing Eastern Regional Seed Inspector, Mr Joseph Agayaba, also said the region did not have a seed laboratory and so for any scientific information on seeds, samples had to be sent to Accra. He then called for the establishment of a seed laboratory in the Region.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Legacy Crop Improvement Center (LCIC), Mr Amos Rutherford Azinu, urged seed producers to take advantage of the new technology and the high yielding hybrid maize varieties to increase their productivity as well the seed companies to collaborate with researchers to develop more high yielding seed varieties and own the patent to enable them boost their business.