By Kwabia Owusu-Mensah, GNA
11, GNA – The Crops Research Institute (CRI) at Fumesua is stepping up efforts
to encourage increased cultivation and consumption of nutritious and indigenous
root food staples in the country.
In line with
that, the Institute has through research and innovation, developed and released
four new tasty taro (“brobey”/ “kooko”), scientifically known as (colocasia
esculenta) and four new water yam (“Afaase”), varieties to help boost their
production and consumption in the country.
The aim is not
only to help reduce food importation, but also boost the intake of the
tropical, traditional staples, to improve the health of the people while
increasing the incomes of local farmers.
A 2017 annual
report made available to the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi, indicated that the
development and release of the new varieties of the indigenous food crops, was
to help rejuvenate the plantation of the crops, which were almost becoming
extinct, as a result of disease infections.
the report, the cultivation of taro, one of the important food security and
income generating crops in Ghana, was bedevilled with Taro Leaf Blight Disease
(TLBD), which was almost leading to the extinction of the crop.
measures such as chemical and cultural controls, was largely ineffective and
hence breeding for disease-resistant varieties, was identified as the most
sustainable approach to manage the TLBD”, the report stated.
added that, the future of taro in Ghana depended on the availability of
The new crops,
which were the first scientifically improved taro to be released in Ghana, were
developed by the Institute, with sponsorship from the International Network for
Edible Aroids (INEA) and the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme
the report, the varieties—CRI-Huogbelor, CRI-Asempa, CRI-Agyenkwa and CRI-Yen
Anya woa, were tolerant to the taro leave blight disease.
They have the
potential to produce between 12-25 tones, per hectare and corm dry matter
content of 33-42 per cent.
They can be used
to prepare ‘ampesi’, ‘fufu’, chunk-fried, crispy chips, flour, starch and
varied bakery products.
the report, the four new water yams were released after 10 years of trials.
are CRI-Afaase Adepa, CRI-Afaase Hoodenfo, CRI-Afaase Biri and CRI-Afaase
indicated that the new varieties were not only nutritious, high yielding and
pest-resistant, but “were also improved versions of water yam varieties
currently on the market”.
very high starch content and could be processed to be used for various forms of
delicacies such as, iced cream and noodles.
the report, the new varieties were declared safe for diabetic patients and
could be used as substitute for white yam.
It pointed out
that the high demand for water yam in neighbouring countries such as Burkina
Faso, Cot d’Ivoire, Mali and Niger, presented a huge potential for Ghana to
produce water yam seedlings for export.