Jiangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences supports rice production in Northern Ghana 

By Albert Futukpor

Tamale, June 07, GNA-The Northern Regional Coordinating Council (NRCC), and the Jiangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences, a Chinese research institution, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) towards the development of improved rice seed varieties to boost production in the country.  

The MoU dubbed: “Collaborative Agreement on Hybrid Research and Demonstration between Crop Gene Bank of Jiangxi Province, and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI)”, was to help develop quality hybrid seeds to enhance rice cultivation. 

As part of the MoU, which was an expansion of the existing partnership between CSIR-SARI, a government institution located at Nyankpala in the Northern Region, and the Jiangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences, technical support would be provided for the CSIR-SARI and other partners to develop improved and high yielding rice seeds that were tolerant to harsh weather conditions. 

Five sets of hybrid rice varieties from the Jiangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences including Hukeyou Taixiang, Luohongyou 1564, Quanguangyou 822, Quanyou Simiao and Wanfengyou would be evaluated in the Northern Region as part of the MoU. 

It would also facilitate the supply of farm implements to improve rice cultivation and reduce post-harvest losses in the country. 

Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister, signed the MoU on behalf of the NRCC while Professor Liu Guangrong, Vice President of the Jiangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences, signed on behalf of the Academy. 

Professor Guangrong led a delegation from the Academy comprising Professor Wan Yong, Professor Zou Guoxing, Professor Zhou Huiying, Professor Kang Meihua and Li Shuhu. 

Alhaji Saibu, speaking during the meeting in Tamale to sign the MoU, said the partnership had supported the development of two rice seed varieties, which had proven to be viable amongst farmers in the region. 

The meeting was also to provide the platform to evaluate the progress of previous MoUs signed since 2017 between Jiangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and the NRCC and CSIR-SARI amongst other partners on rice production.  

Alhaji Saibu said, “We have also received valuable farm implements that have also proven to be simple and appropriate technology in most areas of the region.” 

He expressed the need for further collaboration in other areas, including education and research to help improve the living standards of the people. 

Professor Guangrong said the Northern Region had more fertile agricultural land and reaffirmed the Academy’s commitment to supporting sustainable agriculture in the area. 

He said, “We will consider this partnership beyond rice production by including other crop varieties and facilitate the sharing of experience and expertise to enhance innovation.” 

Mr Alex Yeboah, Acting Head of the Rice Improvement Programme at CSIR-SARI, who provided an update on the collaborative research, said five rice varieties were tested, evaluated, and introduced for field performance, adding CSIR Malimali and CSIR Savanna were the only two varieties released and commercialised for production. 

He said whilst the CSIR Malimali took 110 days to mature, CSIR Savanna took 126 days to mature, and both varieties were tolerant to harsh weather conditions. 

Hajia Hawa Musah, Northern Regional Director of Agriculture, who was represented during the meeting, was happy that the two rice varieties that were commercialised, recorded high yields. 

She said CSIR Savanna gave a bumper yield of 2.4 metric tonnes per hectare.