By Fatima Anafu-Astanga, GNA
Bolgatanga, Oct. 23, GNA- The Research Extension and farmer linkage committees (RELC) in the Upper East Region have held a meeting to review activities and targets set for 2021.
The meeting, which was sponsored by the Modernization of Agriculture (MAG), had representatives from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Savannah Agricultural Research Institute(SARI), Ministry of Agriculture, farmers, Extension officers, aggregators, University for Development and Bolgatanga Technical University.
Dr Roger Kanton, a Director at CSIR-Savannah Agricultural Institute (SARI), who briefed the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said the stakeholders were expected to discuss activities and issues militating against set targets and outstanding issues of the committees.
He said the outcome would result in higher yields of crops, promote food security, good markets, enhancement of wellbeing and general agricultural productivity in the region.
Touching on crop performance, he appreciated the performance of crops varieties released over the years and added that maize crop varieties grown in the savanna regions, including ‘Wangdataa’ were doing well.
Five new millet and sorghum varieties released ‘Akad-kom’, ‘Afribeh –Naara’, ‘ Naad-Kohbidi’, all drought tolerant were widely adopted, he added.
He noted that ‘Favor ‘ and ‘Afayak ‘ soya bean varieties released by SARI in 2020 with ‘Favor’ being the most recent could give up to two metric tonnes per hectare.
According to him, ‘Bamse’ rice which matures within 80 to 85 days and named after a community in Bawku was doing well in the region, being one of the short duration cereals.
Dr Solomon Konlan at the Animal Research Institute of CSIR in a presentation on livestock technologies for improving productivities and returns of livestock schooled participants on improving housing and transporting technologies of livestock that would provide good ventilation and free movement.
He stressed the need for proper forage collection and storage by farmers for livestock feeding and the need for proper preservation of crop residue for future feeding needs of livestock.
He noted that some indigenous fodder were getting extinct hence the need for livestock farmers to take advantage of crop residue of rice among others, to enhance feeding.
Among such almost extinct fodder was pretectra cyclosanctus, which had good nutritious value for livestock.
He, however, mentioned other promising forage, Cajanus gamba grass, pannicum minimum and giant five-star grass as important for pasture development.
“Proper forage collection and storage for livestock is critical in the development of the livestock sector,“ Dr Konlan reiterated and called for stakeholders to take advantage of other crop residues from rice, beans and groundnuts for supplementary feed.