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SARI introduces improved rice varieties to farmers

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Science Rice Varieties
Officials and farmers on the field

The Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has organised a field trip to improvedd rice varieties’ site for farmers at the Botanga Irrigation Scheme in the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region as part of the Ricowas project.

The field day was to showcase to farmers the quality of the varieties and the good agronomic practices to be adopted by farmers such as good levelling, nutrients, and water management among others to increase farmers’ yields.

Dr Issah Sugri, Ricowas Project Director and Deputy Director of SARI speaking to the farmers, said the field exercise was to enable them to observe and share their preferred choice of rice varieties for cultivation during farming season.

He said Ricowas project on scaling up climate resilient rice production in west Africa implemented by CSIR–SARI, funded by Adaptation Fund, supported by Observatoire Du Sahara Et Du Sahel Sahara and Sahel Observatory, was to strengthen human and institutional capacity in climate-resilient rice production (CRRP).

He said it was also to assist farmers and all actors to scale up SRI and CRRP, and strengthen communication, advocacy, and partnerships to scale SRI and CRRP in Ghana for increased rice production and food security.

Dr Sugri said the project was being implemented in 13 West African countries including Ghana to build the system of rice intensification (SRI), which is a farming methodology, aimed at increasing the yield of rice while using fewer resources and to reduce environmental impacts.

He said the project covered seven regions of Ghana, which included Northern, Upper East, Savannah, Volta, Oti, Western North, and Ashanti Regions.

He said the project included technologies to enhance the potential to increase yield, address food security and improve the quality of the rice.

Dr Sugri said the new varieties comprising CRI-Kantinka, CRI-Mpuntuo, CRI+Dartey, and alongside AGRA rice had quality and healthier grains compared to the other varieties.

He told the farmers that all the rice varieties had qualities such as early maturing, high yielding good grain quality, aroma and tolerance to diseases and pests.

Mr Abdul-Fatawu Ismail, District Agric Officer, advised the farmers to cultivate the varieties by adopting good agronomic practices such as leveling of fields before cultivation, nursing and transplanting the seedlings within spacing before broadcasting, as well as to ensure proper irrigation and application, among others.

Mr Mohammed Alhassan Issahaku, a Rice Seeds Farmer at Botan
ga promised to partner SARI to supply quality certified rice seeds to farmers for cultivation to promote food security in the country.

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