CSIR- CROPS RESEARCH INSTITUTE To Produce High-Quality Maize Foundation Seeds For Commercialization
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As part of the CSIR-Crops Research Institute’s efforts at improving its Internally Generated Funds (IGF), the seed section of the Institute has embarked on a project to produce foundation seeds of one of its maize varieties, CRI-Honampa. maize. The variety, which was developed and released by the Institute in 2012, is a pro-vitamin “A” variety and suitable for both human and livestock consumption. It has a potential yield of 5.2 tons/ha and matures within 110-115 days. It is also suitable for industrial use in the preparation of grits and kenkey.

Seed production unlike grain production requires close attention to the plants to ensure the crop’s genetic and physical purity. The seed field must be rogued to remove off-types and diseased plants from the vegetative stage through to the reproductive stage.  Consequently, staff of the seed section have undertaken a rouging activity on the maize seed field located at the Institute’s Fumesua campus. Another key factor in seed production is isolation distance. According to the seeds (certification and standards) regulations, the minimum isolation distance for maize is 400 meters for foundation seeds. This isolation distance is enough to prevent any cross-pollination that may eventually affect the genetic purity of the seed.

Some staff of the Institute’s seed section

Once established, the Ghana Seed Inspectorate Division shall visit the fields twice before the maize is harvested. This will ensure that only quality seeds are produced and supplied to the market.  The seed inspectors will do a further inspection after harvest through seed processing until the seeds are bagged and placed on the market for sale.

According to the head of the seed section at the CSIR-CRI, Mr. Emmanuel Asamoah Adjei, ‘‘the production of foundation seeds of maize has provided section with a valuable opportunity to refresh their knowledge and skills in foundation seed production and we intend to take on the responsibility of producing more foundation seeds for commercialization”.

Certified seed growers seeking pure-quality foundation maize seeds can confidently reach out to the CSIR-CRI for supply. The institute is dedicated to providing certified seed growers with the highest-quality seeds, ensuring successful and productive crop cultivation.

Contributors: Patricia Konadu Mensah, Emmanuel Asamoah Adjei, Hillary Mireku Botey, Bernard Sakyiamah, Linda Nsafoa, Enoch Bobie Agyemang