A two day workshop on the production of hybrid seeds and to introduce seed producers to high yielding new hybrid maize seed by the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) at the University of Ghana, has started at Koforidua.
The workshop is being organized by WACCI with support from Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
It is being attended by 46 participants including seed growers, representatives of seed companies, seed technicians, researchers and officials of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in the seed sector.
As part of the training programme, three new high yielding hybrid maize varieties developed by WACCI were introduced to the participants of the workshop.
The three new hybrid maize varieties with capacity to produce ten tons per hector include Abeefo Aburo, Akuafo Aburo and Aburo Lego.
All the three maize varieties are early maturing maize varieties and take between 85 to 90 days to mature.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Professor Pangirayi B Tongoona of WACCI, said many seed producers and seed companies were now focusing more on hybrid seeds, because they provided high yields, which enable the companies and producers to increase their revenue and stay in business.
He explained that the workshop was aimed at educating the participants on how to maintain the parent lines to enable them produce high quality hybrid seed maize.
Mr Solomon Atipo, Desk Officer for Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) at the New Juaben South Municipal Assembly, said the demand for hybrid seed maize under the PFJ was increasing due to the yields achieved by farmers who were privileged to plant some hybrid maize seeds, however, most of the maize seeds supplied to the municipality under the PFJ were open pollinated varieties.
Mr Attipo therefore appealed to seed producers in the Municipality to produce hybrid maize seeds to meet the demand of farmers in the Municipality.
The outgoing Eastern Regional Seed Inspector, Mr Joseph Agayaba, said the region did not have a seed laboratory and so for any scientific information on seeds, samples had to be sent to Accra.
He therefore called for the establishment of a seed laboratory in the Region.
The Chief Executive Officer of Legacy Crop Improvement Center (LCIC), Mr Amos Rutherford Azinu, urged seed producers to take advantage of the new technology and the high yielding hybrid maize varieties to increase their productivity.
He called on seed companies to collaborate with researchers to develop more high yielding seed varieties and own the patent to enable them boost their business.