The National Varietal Release and Registration Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture has approved four proposed varieties of cowpea developed by researchers in the University of Cape Coast.
The approval is an indication the University would soon get authorization to officially release the seeds to farmers for mass production. The National Varietal Release and Registration Committee is the authority responsible for approving the official release of new crop varieties in Ghana based on laid down procedures.
This came to light when members from the National Varietal Release and Registration Committee inspected the cowpea field at the Teaching and Research Farm of the School of Agriculture yesterday. In all the committee approved four out of eight proposed varieties.
The Inspection team on the field inspecting the cowpea
Speaking after the exercise, the leader of the National Varietal Release and Registration Committee, Prof. Richard Akromah explained, the process of the selection of the proposed varieties and how the cowpea would be beneficial in ensuring food security in Ghana.
“we will make a dossier and present it to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and if the minister reads the dossier and he is convinced, he will now append his signature…it will then be presented to the National Seed Council and they will also deliberate over it and look at its benefits and how it’s going to help boost production, small holder farms and look at all the activities that we have looked at and then endorse it. Finally those materials will enter the national catalog and then they become varieties”
The Principal Investigator of the UCC Cowpea Project, Prof. Aaron Asare gave a background to the project.
“The research is made up of teams and we have the University of Cape coast as the lead institution. We have our collaborators from the savannah agricultural research institute and the University of Virginia. These institutions constituted a research team that embarked on producing new varieties of cowpea which are tolerant to drought and viruses that can destroy these cowpeas.”
The Principal Investigator of the UCC Cowpea Projects, Prof. Aaron Asare, speaking to the media after the inspection
He added “We have our main target. We have developed these cowpeas and selected through various processes and the best is what we are exhibiting today. These are high yielding early maturing and can be used for all types of foods”
On behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, the Dean of the School of Physical Sciences, Prof. David Kofi Essuman expressed gratitude to the team and assured them that UCC would continue to develop more crops to boost food production in the country.
by: KOJO DEI / ATL FM NEWS