The National Variety Release and Registration Committee (NVRRC) accepted the hybrids for commercial production, once approval is given by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
Maize production in the Guinea and Sudan Savannah zones of Ghana is constrained by these stresses. At farmer level, for instance, all three stresses can occur simultaneously, and the combined effect can cause yield loss of up to almost 100%, leaving many farmers, mostly women, poorer than before. The four new varieties, which include two early and two extra-early maturing drought and Striga tolerant hybrids, will bring back some relief, and make farming a worthwhile effort to farmers.
Attributes of the hybrids
|Released Name||Maturity Period||Potential Yield||Special Attribute|
|CSIR- Denbea||90 days||6.5 t/ha||Drought and Striga tolerant
Golden yellow grain colour
Suitable for poultry and livestock nutrition
|CSIR-Similenu||90 days||6.0 t/ha||Drought and Striga tolerant|
|CSIR-Kum-Naaya||85 days||R5.5 t/ha||Drought and Striga tolerant|
|CSIR-Wang-Basig||85 days||5.5 t/ha||Drought and Striga tolerant|
Results of participatory variety selection trials revealed high farmer preference of all four varieties for cultivation, and high consumer acceptability for local dishes.
Appropriate use of the hybrids ─ which are generally appealing to farmers, traders, processors, and input dealers ─ will improve farmers’ resilience to climate change, as well as their productivity. The hybrids also have broad adaptation to other countries including Nigeria, Mali and Benin.
With the harmonization of the Economic Community of African States (ECOWAS) seed policy, the new varieties could be targeted by regional private seed sector players for multiplication and marketing in broader regional markets within the ECOWAS region. Of course, there will be a huge impact on the Ghanaian local seed sector as well as employment opportunities for the growing number of unemployed youth.
Efforts will soon be directed at producing early generation seeds of parental lines of the hybrids for mass production, promotion, and commercialization.