CSIR produces immune boosting maize varieties
Dr Manfred B. Ewool, a Senior Research Scientist and Maize Breeder at the Council for Scientific Industrial Research (CSIR), Crops Research Institute (CRI) in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Asuoyeboah in the Ashanti Region, said since maize was a staple food in Ghana, enhancing it with Vitamin A was a long- term approach to minimize Vitamin ‘A’ Deficiency (VAD) in the country.
He said this new maize variety containing high bio-vitamin ‘A’, was being promoted, hence the introduction of the orange maize varieties to farmers.
He explained that, Vitamin ‘A’ deficiencies could lead to serious health implications in humans, especially pregnant women and children and could result in growth retardation, weak immune system and night blindness.
Dr Ewool said the CSIR-CRI with support from HarvestPlus Challenge programme through the International Food Policy Research Institute and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture-Nigeria, was ensuring that farmers adopted the newly introduced orange maize varieties through education, awareness creation, workshops and field days for farmers and end users in the country.
According to Dr Ewool, some schools in the municipalities and districts visited by CSIR- CRI had embraced the pro- vitamin ‘A’ orange maize into their School Feeding Programme.
This, he added, would enable farmers to cultivate on large scale to earn them more income and to improve upon their standards of living.
He expressed satisfaction about how most farmers and end users had embraced and developed the taste for the pro-vitamin ‘A’ orange maize varieties to promote food security and enhanced nutrition in the country.
Dr Ewool therefore urged farmers and end users to contact the CSIR-CRI or the offices of the Agriculture Departments and Agro-input dealers for seeds for planting.