The quest to reduce Ghana’s rice import bill has informed rice breeding activities of the CSIR-Crops Research Institute (CSIR-CRI) within the last decade. The Institute continues to breed for improved rice varieties in order to increase productivity on smallholder farmers’ fields. Smallholder farmers have benefitted from the institute’s breeding activities and over the years and on Friday, 13th September, a team from the rice section of the cereals division of the Institute, engaged farmers from Atwima Nwabiagya district in the Ashanti region.
About thirty-two (32) rice farmers from the district were introduced to forty-five (45) new rice lines received from the African Rice Breeding Task Force (AfricaRice). The lines were planted at Sokwai for participatory varietal selection. After field observations and comparisons with the variety they were currently cultivating, the farmers three (3) lines they considered their “best” and which they would be willing to cultivate next planting season. Seeds of the selected lines will be made available to farmers.
Dr. Maxwell Darko Asante, a rice breeder at the CSIR-CRI and his rice breeding team emphasized that such meetings were necessary to constantly introduce farmers to new result-oriented technologies. He stressed the need for farmers to benefit directly from agricultural research outputs.
Dr. Maxwell Asante engaging some farmers during
the farmer field school
A section of farmers looking during a demonstration
Staff of CSIR-CRI and some farmers engaged in discussions
A group picture of all participants at the programme
Contributors: Dr. Maxwell Darko Asante, Elizabeth Norkor Nartey, Phyllis Aculey, Bernard Sakyiamah, David Kow Amo