The Crops Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and its international partners have developed a Stress Tolerant Maize variety for farmers in in parts of Africa where climate change threatens food security.
The Stress Tolerant maize variety was introduced to smallholder maize farmers at Ejura in the Ejura- Sekyere Dumase Municipality of the Ashanti region during a ‘Farmer Food Day’ event organized by the Crops Research Institute.
The Principal Investigator of the Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) Project, Dr. Stephen Yeboah indicated that the CSIR-CRI and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) are jointly executing the Stress Tolerant Maize variety research project with funding from the Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa Project (STMA).
Dr. Yeboah,a research scientist with CSIR-CRI pointed out that the variety if well adopted will address the state of low crop yield associated with climate stress such as drought stress, low soil fertility, striga or pest infestation, low inputs use and inappropriate seeds in the subregion.
Dr Yeboah noted that climate change now poses a serious threat to food security in African societies whose economy is highly dependent on agriculture especially those in the Sub-Saharan.
The research scientist said crop production in Ghana is mainly rainfed and remains vulnerable to climate change hence the need for research institutions to partner with local and international agencies in developing crop varieties that can withstand the unpredictable climatic conditions.
He that the newly developed maize variety has the potential to improve human nutrition and promise food security if the variety is adopted through widespread dissemination and promotion.
Dr Stephen Yeboah pointed out that stakeholder engagements such as the Farmer Food Day will enhance mass awareness creation and adoption of the variety in the country and the sub-region.
Dr. Priscilla Francisco Ribeiro, also a research scientists and Coordinator of Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa Project Ghana, emphasized that the current maize yield is not sufficient to meet future demand, stressing on the importance of developing the Stress Tolerant Maize varieties in Ghana.
She hinted that breeders and plant scientists at this climate change era are under intense pressure to improve upon the existing crops while developing new climate friendly varieties that promise high quality yields, rich nutrition, pest and disease resistance and climate smart.
She therefore urged farmers to fully adopt the Stress Tolerant Maize and recommended it to others.