GHANA - The Tropical Legumes (III) Project aimed at developing sustainable legume seed systems to enhance yield increases in groundnut and cowpea production by smallholder farmers, has been launched, reports GNA.
The impact-oriented venture seeks to leverage learning and strategies to include women to make seed choices – an intervention to maximize food security impacts for smallholder farmers with the advantage improving their incomes and ensure a marked reduction in poverty.
The project, which spans 2015 and 2018, is being implemented in targeted key legume-producing communities in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions of the country.
Dr Stephen Nutsugah, Director of CSIR-SARI, who spoke at the launch of the project in Tamale, said groundnut production had been on the decline over the past three years but expressed delight that the project had come to revive the sector.
He further urged the project implementing partners to work hard to ensure that new varieties of groundnut were released by next year to boost production.
Dr Richard Oteng Frimpong, Coordinator of the Tropical Legumes (III) Project at CSIR-SARI said the project was to mitigate the constraints of smallholder farmers by working to improve the technical effectiveness of the groundnut breeding programmes.
The project also seeks to increase accessibility to high-yielding groundnut varieties to small-holder farmers to increase yields and farmers’ profit margins, he added.
The main implementers of the project are the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR – SARI) with other collaborators including the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), amongst other stakeholders.
The project is receiving funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The key components include the establishment of multi-stakeholder platforms to train the farmers in seed production and business management while also developing a sustainable seed system under which improved seed variety of better yield and nutritional composition, would be supplied to smallholder farmers.