Research-Farmer Engagement Leads to the Selection of Promising Amaranth Genotypes for Building Resilience and Enhancing Food Security at Libga

Libga, [August 29, 2023] — In a remarkable display of joint actions to enhance the use of the diversity of Amaranth germplasm at the CSIR-Plant Genetic Resources Research Institute (PGRRI), the National Genebank of Ghana farmers at Libga, and researchers from the CSIR-SARI, Nyankpala, and the CSIR-PGRRI, under the auspices of the Seeds for Resilience (S4R) Project , have jointly conducted participatory varietal selection (PVS) of Amaranth genotypes at Libga. The farmers who took part in the PVS are from the indigenous leafy vegetable (ILV) Germplasm User Group at Libga. Following the selection, seeds of the selected Amaranth genotypes which have traits that farmers find desirable, and which could enhance food security and nutritional value in the region would be multiplied and made available to members of a germplasm user group.

Written by Joseph Bandanaa (PhD) and Daniel A. Kotey (PhD)

The National Genebank CSIR-PGRRI;A Critical Investment for Ghana's Agriculture Sector

The national genebank, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Plant Genetic Resources Research Institute (CSIR-PGRRI), was set up as a strategic investment for the agricultural sector in Ghana. As the national genebank, the CSIR-PGRRI is mandated to collect and conserve the plant genetic resources (PGR) of Ghana and to coordinate all PGR activities in the country. Plant genetic resources are the sum total of all hereditary material in a single (interbreeding) plant species containing useful characters of actual or potential value. They are the basic raw materials for crop improvement.

By Joseph Bandanaa (PhD), Emmanuel Boamah and Daniel Ashie Kotey (PhD)

CSIR–PGRRI introduces farmer varieties of Bambara groundnuts for trials by farmers in Upper East

The Bambara Groundnut is a traditional food crop largely cultivated by farmers in the northern parts of Ghana. It is a leguminous crop sometimes called Bambara Bean and is similar to regular beans or cowpea. Bambara groundnut is highly rich in protein.

CSIR-PGRRI Promoting the Cultivation of Indigenous Leafy Vegetables

The Plant Genetic Resources Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-PGRRI) is promoting the cultivation of indigenous leafy vegetables in the southern part of Ghana. These vegetables are nutritious with high protein and mineral contents, including calcium, phosphorus and manganese.

What does it take for a genebank to go online?

Over the course of the past year, the national genebanks of Ghana and Zambia have made available on Genesys passport data on some of their accessions. In an ideal world, accession-level data would already be digitized, centralized in a database and formatted according to MCPD v.2.1 standards. Then it would be a fairly simple matter to move it from the genebank’s database to Genesys. However, this is usually not always the case. For a lot of genebanks, making accession-level information of valuable crop samples available online to users around the world is in fact an enormous endeavor.

Govt Urged To Help Promote Under-Utilized Leafy Vegetables

Research Scientist at the Plant Genetic Resource and Research Institute has called on the government to help promote underutilized, neglected and orphan leafy vegetables since the level of nutrient contents and medicinal values in those vegetables are unbelievable and unmatched and needed to be given more attention to create awareness about their usefulness.

Taro Expansion Project Held in Akim Oda

As part of efforts to promote taro, an orphan and neglected, but a food security crop in Ghana, a cross section of farmers, scientists and staff of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, were exposed to activities on the crop and to whip the enthusiasm of the stake holders. The exposition which took place during the 31st Annual Ghana National Farmers day was held on 4th of December 2015 at Akim Akropong in the Atiwa district in the Eastern Region of Ghana, one of the participating towns selected for on-farm participatory evaluation.