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Ghana’s foremost agricultural research institute, the CSIR-Crops Research Institute (CSIR-CRI) has achieved another remarkable milestone with the development and release of two new hybrid maize varieties. The National Varietal Release and Registration Committee (NVRRC) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) approved the new hybrid maize varieties for cultivation and consumption after their final field inspection at the institute on Wednesday, 14th December, 2022.  The varieties would now be gazetted by the National Seed Council.

The varieties, M1227-9 and M0926-9 are the newest additions to Ghana’s maize variety list, most of which have been released by the Institute, and are the results of several years of extensive research and on- farm trials by scientists of the Institute in collaboration with IITA and CIMMYT with funding from theAccelerating Genetic Gains in Maize and Wheat (AGG) project.

One variety, M1227-9, a three-way hybrid has a potential yield of 7.3 tons/ha, whileM0926-9, a top cross hybrid has a potential yield of 7.0 tons/ha. Both varieties are intermediate maturing (110-115 days) and tolerant to drought and Striga. Sensory evaluations performed revealed consumers’ acceptance.

Members of the NVRRC commended scientists at the CSIR-CRI for their hard work in coming out with the hybrids, which they believe will contribute immensely to increased food production in the country, particularly in drought prone and striga endemic areas.

Project team leader, Dr. (Mrs.) Priscilla Francisco Ribeiro, a Senior Research Scientist and the first female maize breeder at the CSIR-Crops Research Institute, expressed her satisfaction at the approval and indicated that the varieties were released as part of efforts to ensure food security in the country as well as help improve incomes of all stakeholders in the maize value chain.

“These varieties will be very beneficial to farmers because our economic analysis revealed very high benefit-cost-ratios (BCRs). This means that farmers will benefit greatly upon adoption and cultivation of these varieties”, she stated.

Prof. Moses Brandford Mochiah, Director of CSIR-Crops Research Institute who also doubles as a member of the National Varietal Release and Registration Committee (NVRRC), also expressed his gratitude to the research team and the project sponsors for working assiduously to make the release possible. “This release is a feather in the cup of CSIR-CRI and we will continue to develop and come out with varieties to improve agricultural production in the country”, he indicated.

Congratulations to Dr. Priscilla Ribeiro and the team!