Ghana set to export large quantity of groundnut

The Director of the Center for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Savanna Agriculture Research Institute (SARI), Dr S.K Nutsugah, has revealed that Ghana is set begin the exportation of variety of groundnuts to the international market. This follows a bumper harvest recorded by the boost in groundnuts production in the 2018 farming season. The Director of CSIR-SARI announced this during the CSIR-SARI open day event to interact with the public and showcase the various crop varieties introduced by the Institute to boost crop production. “The farmers who adapted to use the improved groundnut varieties of the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-SARI) and the best agronomic practices followed have increased their crop yields. “In the Northern Region, about 90% of the 160,000 hectares of groundnut was made up of varieties developed by CSIR-SARI which saw bumper harvest that received demand from the export market,” Dr. Nutsugah noted. Agriculture-led development is fundamental to reducing hunger and poverty, generating economic growth and employment, while reducing the burden of food imports, and opening the way to an expansion of exports. Being cognizant of the essence of agriculture research in meeting demands to improve agriculture and ensure food security, (CSIR-SARI) has for the past sixty years (60) produced eighty three (83) improved varieties of crops to Ghanaian farmers for cultivation. These improved crop varieties according to Dr S. K Nutsugah are suitable for Ghana’s climatic conditions and have all the potential to address the production problems. This year, the CSIR is celebrating 60 years of research with impact for sustainable development, and the contribution of CSIR-SARI to the council.

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SARI, a member of the 13-sister institutions of the CSIR, is known at the international front as a research institution that churns out improved, high yielding, drought and disease resistant varieties of food and fiber crops for the three regions of the Northern Ghana. SARI’s research is aimed at providing farmers with innovative technologies to increase yields and improve upon the livelihoods of the small holder farmer. Dr. Nutsugah said science is now applied in every aspect of life, hence, farmers ought to take advantage of it. He also urged scientists to remind themselves that Ghana needs to improve on its capacity to harness science and technology for better accelerated national development. CSIR and works in the Northern Region Currently, about 70% of farmers in the country use improved crop varieties developed by the CSIR over the years. In northern Ghana for instance, 90% of the 160,000 hectares of groundnut is made up of varieties developed by the CSIR-SARI, and t is worthy to note that in recent times, there has been an increased demand for CSIR-SARI. According to Dr. Nutsugah, the impact of CSIR-SARI’s research activities is felt in the soil fertility improvement technologies that increased cereal-legumes-based cropping systems at the smallholder farm level. SARI developed ISFM, a set of agricultural practices adapted to local conditions to maximize the efficiency of nutrient and water use to improve agricultural productivity. ISFM strategies center on the combined use of mineral fertilizers and locally available soil amendments such as lime and phosphate rock, and organic matter. District Chief Executive for Tolon Balchisu Yakubu commended SARI for their contribution towards the enhancement of agriculture. She said the assembly through the Government flagship programme is supporting farmers with the input devices to boost the agricultural sector. “We used to cultivate three crop varieties yearly which was not enough, but the  intervention of SARI has helped to cultivate varieties of crops which has increased our crop yields and revenue generation,” a farmer, Alhaji Issahaku Mahama, said.
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By Zubaida Ismail|| Ghana]]>