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The CSIR-Crops Research Institute organized a field day on 16th January, 2021 at Asotwe in the Ejisu-Juaben District of Ghana to elicit famers’ views on three varieties developed by the institute. The three improved rice varieties –CRI-Enapa, CRI-Dartey and CRI-Kantinka—which were registered by the Institute in 2019, were introduced to the famers. These varieties have potential yields ranging from 8 to 9.5 t/ha, have good cooking quality and tolerant to the major rice diseases in Ghana.

The field day was organized on a farmer’s field to educate farmers on good agricultural practices and introduce them to improved rice varieties. Over a four-month period, the farmers met regularly with the researchers to discuss good agricultural practices including land development, nutrient, water and pest management, best post-harvest practices and varieties. In ranking their preferred varieties after the demonstration, more than 50 percent of the farmers ranked CRI-Enapa as their most preferred variety. CRI-Dartey and CRI-Kantinka were ranked second and third respectively. Explaining their choice, most of the farmers expressed their excitement about the very high yielding of the varieties, their tolerance to environmental stresses and good grain qualities.

“CRI-Enapa has longer panicles, is high yielding and it is also able to do well in drought conditions. I know if I invest in the variety, I will be able make good profit from it.”

_Zeinabu Salaam, Rice Farmer

“CRI-Dartey has bold grains and heavy panicles. It has bold grains, so you will get good milling recovery, this will in turn bring in good returns to the farmer.”

_Jacob Nablidam, Rice Farmer

All three varieties are high yielding and will give farmers good returns but CRI-Enapa tops them all for me because, it still gives a good yield even in drought conditions. It is able to resist diseases and has longer and heavy panicles. It also tastes good.

_Marko Karbah, Rice Farmer

Dr. Maxwell Darko Asante, a rice breeder and Senior Research Scientist of the CSIR-Crops Research Institute expressed satisfaction with the farmers’ participation in the field school and pledged the Institute’s support to the government on its efforts to achieve rice self-sufficiency within the shortest possible time.

Mr. William Kota, who managed the famer field school was excited about the opportunity to interact with the famers throughout the season. The work is part of a project led by the West Africa Center for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana and CSIR-Crops Research Institute with funding from Africa Union and the European Union.

List of Contributors: Dr. Maxwell Darko Asante, Bernard Sakyiamah, Elizabeth Norkor Nartey, William Lelabi Kota, Enoch Bobie Agyemang