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Hand-holding out growers to produce certified seed in drought-stricken Ghana – a model to emulate

Access to quality seed remains a big challenge for farmers in Africa. With increasing drought situations and deteriorating soil quality, especially in the Sudanian and Sahelian zones, improving access to seed of climate-smart varieties is part of the solution. Spurred by a desire to “fix the problem” at least in his village, Mr Khalid Abukari...

Superfoods Can’t Save Our Broken System – But Smart Food Can

“Superfoods” is a catchword that has found popularity among the most health-conscious consumers. However, the concept of these nutritionally dense and healthy foods only focuses on one aspect of the complex global food system. With experts increasingly raising the alarm that our food system is broken, we need a different narrative which captures not only the role...

Setting the stage for hybrid pearl millet research consortium in west Africa

Exciting times ahead as public and private institutions come together to promote millets Seed research stakeholders and representatives of private seed companies from Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Nigeria, met with scientists, millet breeders and seed systems coordinators recently at Niamey, Niger, to discuss creation of a consortium to promote hybrid pearl millet varieties in...

Groundnut breeding program in Burkina Faso gets a boost with seven new improved groundnut varieties

More than 20 years after the last groundnut seed variety was registered in the seed catalog, the groundnut breeding program in West and Central Africa is set to be enhanced through the registration of seven improved groundnut varieties in Burkina Faso. The registration in the West Africa Variety Catalog 2018 was achieved by the Institute...

Common Bean: the industrial and nutritional solution

A scientist at Crops Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is pushing for the adoption of common beans for industrial and nutritional value. Dr. James Asibuo says lessons from Ghana’s neighbours suggest the crop can boost the country’s Gross Domestic Product as well as address iron and zinc deficiency in diets....

African Plant Breeders Association launched in Ghana

The African Plant Breeders Association (APBA) was launched recently to bring together plant breeders from several African nations to work towards achieving food security in Africa through breeding. Dr Sagri Bambangi, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in Ghana, urged the breeders to begin conversations on securing the food future of Africa through plant breeding....

PABRA introduces baked beans varieties to farmers

The Crops Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CRI-CSIR), has introduced four new common bean (baked beans) varieties, for adoption by farmers. The objective is that local farmers would be encouraged to cultivate the new varieties of the pulses – ‘Ennepa’, ‘Adoye’, ‘Nsoroma’ and ‘Semanhyia’, on a larger scale to enhance...

Why Benue farmers prefer ‘Kwankwaso’ cowpea

Despite the blazing sun, farmers in Benue State were not deterred as they patiently walked through the length and breadth of the large cowpea plantation owned by the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi (FUAM). Guided by researchers in different fields of agriculture, the farmers halted their movement intermittently to examine, deliberate and scrutinise the varieties...

Consolidated efforts to modernize crop improvement in Ghana

A Regional Coordinated Trial (RCT) is helping Cowpea Improvement Program in Ghana, thanks to Accelerated Varietal Improvement and Seed Delivery of Legumes and Cereals in Africa (AVISA) and Bayer projects in West Africa. The regional trials involve genetic materials contributed by various research institutes and cross learning experience gleaned from testing and demonstrations. In Ghana,...

Modernizing NARS Crop Breeding Programs for Improved Genetic Gains in 14 Countries

A course designed to modernize National Agricultural Research System (NARS) breeding programs for improving genetic gains of 9 dryland cereals and grain legumes and to strengthen seed systems in 14 African and Asian countries was held recently in Arusha, Tanzania. The training had 46% women participating and was facilitated by resource persons from 7 CGIAR...

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