Farmers in Tamale Engaged on Indigenous Leafy Vegetable Production

genebank online
  9 May 2024 10:49am

A day’s workshop has been organised in Tamale to engage farmers on the production of Indigenous Leafy Vegetables (ILVs) to enhance healthy dietary eating and nutrition.

The workshop, organised by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-Plant Genetic Sources Research Institute (PGRRI), in partnership with the CSIR-Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), was aimed at taking feedback from the farmers who were being introduced to some of the ILVs.

The event, which was on the theme: “Enhancing linkages between germplasm conservation and utilisation through participatory germplasm evaluation”, brought together farmers in the Ligba and Golinga communities.

It formed part of the Seed for Resilience (SfR) project being undertaken by the institutions, geared towards promoting the cultivation and consumption of indigenous leafy vegetables by farmers and the general public to ensure food and nutrition security.

The project is being funded by the Crop Trust. A number of accessions each of amaranth (Aleefu), Corchorus (Ayoyo) and Hibiscus (Sule) have been supplied by the CSIR-PGRRI to the CSIR-CRI to research and multiply them.

The selections are now being multiplied to be supplied back to the farmers for planting.


Giving an overview of the project at the SfR Germplasm User Group Feedback and Review Workshop in Tamale, the acting Director of CSIR- PGRRI, Dr Daniel Ashie Kotey, explained that the objective of the workshop was to enhance holistic discussions and decision-making.

The discussions were to enable the selection of ILV genotypes with user-preferred characteristics for cultivation, processing, consumption and crop improvement to address constraints such as diseases, pests, drought and low soil nutrient status.

He said these vegetables were important and constituted essential sections in the diets of Ghanaians, particularly in the rural communities, adding that indigenous leafy vegetables were contributing significantly towards mitigating the impact of climate change and promoting nutrition security.

He indicated that the project is being implemented by five African countries, comprising Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Zambian and Kenya, to help the crops of farmers build resilience against various stress conditions such as drought, pests and diseases.

Despite the nutritious nature of the ILVs, Dr Kotey noted that the focus had always been on the cultivation and consumption of exotic vegetables.

Health Benefits

The Chief Research Scientist at CSIR-PGRRI, Dr Lawrence Aboagye, said the ILVs and the various indigenous food staples were very rich in nutrients and were very useful in addressing many health challenges.

He, however, called for adequate funding for the research institutes to enable them to undertake ground-breaking research in the agriculture sector for the benefit of all.