GHANA – The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in partnership with the Crops Research Institute (CRI) has introduced a new improved vitamin A rich orange maize varieties, reports Ghana News Agency.

The research bodies say that the new varieties; Honampa, Ahoedzin, Ahoefe and Dzifoo come as a gesture to enable the farmers shift from the cultivation of white maize to the newly introduced orange and yellow maize to help increase yield for higher income.

CSIR and CRI have also unveiled Abotem, a yellow maize developed with support from Harvest Plus Project based in International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (Nigeria), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, Mexico.

Addressing the farmers and the Agriculture Officer, Dr Manfred Ewool a Maize breeder at the Crops Research Institute, said samples of the new varieties were given to the Department of Agriculture.

The department is expected to set up demonstration fields to help educate the farmers in the country on the newly introduced seeds.

He revealed that sensory evaluation was organized as part of the programme with the farmers in food preparations.

This was aimed at determining the acceptability of the new orange maize for food whereby the sample population expressed satisfaction with the emerging interest.

Dr Ewool said the orange maize matures early and also contains vitamin A which is very essential for the eyes, skin and even unborn babies.

He said when used as poultry feed, the eggs laid looked a bit more yellowish and are more healthier than those fed with the white maize hence the need for farmers to adopt these newly improved seeds.

He said currently extensive promotion of vitamin “A” orange maize varieties is ongoing by CSIR and CRI in various regions with support from the World Food Program.

Dr Ewool appealed to the government to include the orange maize varieties in the School Feeding Programme due to  improve upon the nutritional  values of food served to the children.