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WACCI hosts USAID’s Agricultural Policy Support Project workshop

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USAIDThe West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) of the University of Ghana (UG), has hosted the USAID/Ghana Agricultural Policy Support Project (APSP) Variety Evaluation and Release Awareness Workshop.

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) in collaboration with the USAID, the Iowa State University (ISU) and WACCI held the workshop as part of their commitment in helping to train seed experts in the implementation of the Plant and Fertilizer Act.

The purpose of the meeting was to create awareness on procedures for accreditation to evaluate varieties, and variety evaluation review – the procedure manual for variety evaluation and release in relation to flow, content, and language.

The workshop attracted over 30 participants, including 16 breeders from the UG and other agriculture research institutions in Ghana.

Professor Eric Yirenkyi Danquah, the Director of WACCI, in his welcome address said the workshop was very timely and important because Africa needs crop varieties that can give yields; which would go a long way to ensure food and nutritional security.

The Director announced that WACCI is close to releasing five high yielding new varieties of maize in Africa.

He said when these high yielding new varieties of maize get to farmers, they would turn around their production.

He said the WACCI has the largest PhD programmes in Africa, and that it is making a great impact on the continent in training of plant breeders, as part of efforts to address Africa’s food security.

The main speaker for the workshop, Dr Francisco Miti, a consultant at the ISU said, the MoFA would accredit institutions that have the capacity to evaluate specific crop varieties for purposes of release in Ghana.

He said the selected institution would be responsible to the National Seed Council on evaluation of varieties, and that such an institution must have breeding team; capable of evaluating the varieties.

Source: GNA

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