The National Varietal Release and Registration Committee (NVRRC) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has approved seven new hybrid maize varieties to be released onto the market for cultivation and consumption.
The varieties, which were released by scientists at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI) following several years’ extensive research and on-farm trials funded by Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and International
Fertiliser Development Centre of the Agricultural Technology Transfer Project(IFDC-ATTP), include MS1, MH1463, MH1466, EEWH-13, EEWH-17, EYH-29 and EWH-29.
The MS1, MH1463 and MH1466 are medium maturing hybrids (physiologically maturing in 110 days) with potential to achieve yields of 9.0, 8.5 and 8.4 tons per hectare in that order.
The EEWH-13, and EEWH-17 are extra early maturing hybrids (maturing in 85 days) whiles EYH-29, and EWH-29 are early maturing hybrids (maturing in 90 days) with potential to achieve yields from 5.5 to 6.5 tons per hectare.
These extra and early maturing maize varieties are drought and striga (weed) tolerant with EYH-29 being golden yellow grain colour suitable for poultry and livestock nutrition whiles the rest are suitable for poultry, human consumption and industry.
CSIR-SARI released these new varieties as part of efforts to ensure food security in the country as well as help to improve incomes of all stakeholders in the maize value chain.
Members of the NVRRC, at a meeting with CSIR-SARI scientists at Nyankpala IN THE Northern Region, approved the release of the varieties after assessing their on-station and on-farm trial results.
Mr Seth Osei-Akoto, Acting Director of Crops Services of MoFA and Chairman of NVRRC urged CSIR-SARI to come out with a seed production plan to ensure their (varieties) availability on the market for easy accessibility by producers.
Mr Osei-Akoto commended scientists at CSIR-SARI for their hard work to come out with the hybrids, which would contribute immensely to increased food production in the country, particularly in drought prone and striga endemic areas.
Dr Stephen Nutsugah, Director of CSIR-SARI described the approval for release of the new varieties as “a further in the cup of CSIR-SARI” saying the institution would continue to come out with varieties to improve agricultural production in the country and incomes for farmers.
He said The ATT Project and AGRA have facilitated training in seed regulations, agronomy of seed production, Integrated Soil Fertility Management, Integrated Pest and Disease Management and seed marketing to help seed producers improve seed production capacity.
Dr Nutsugah said “We now look forward to the implementation of these improved systems to rapidly scale-up the provision of improved seeds for farmers.”