The Center for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) -Kumasi in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture Directorate at Asesewa in the Upper Manya Krobo District of the Eastern Region has come out with improved varieties of Cocoyam that can withstand the dry season.

The three varieties; “Adeyede, Gye me di and Mayeye” have the ability to survive the dry hamattan which normally destroys most crops in the country.

According to Mr. Kennedy Agyeman of CSIR-Kumasi, the World Bank sponsored project was being carried out by the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP).

Introducing the products to farmer base organisations at Adensu in the Upper Manya Krobo District on Tuesday, Mr. Agyeman said “we no longer hear of the Begoro “mankani” (cocoyam) again because the forest is depleted”.

Hence, he said the main aim of the project was to increase root and tuber crops in Ghana.

He explained that the new variety was different from the local one because it had more nutritional qualities and early maturing.

Also, because the soil was so depleted, there was the need to now use fertilizers.

He said the local cocoyam takes between 18 to 24 months to mature but with the improved variety it takes between eight to twelve months.

The Upper Manya Krobo Director of Agriculture, Mr. Geoffrey Kwaku Honu advised the farmers to always contact the district officers for directives to stop the misapplication of agrochemicals to agricultural produce.

The farmers were happy about the new variety and appealed for support to expand their farming

From Samuel Opare Lartey, Adensu.

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