A newly introduced Pro-Vitamin ‘A’ orange maize variety that can help boost the immune system of its consumers has been introduced onto the market.
Dr. Manfred B. Ewool, a Senior Research Scientist and Maize Breeder at the Council for Scientific Industrial Research (CSIR), Crops Research Institute (CRI) in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Asuoyeboah in the Ashanti Region said since maize is a staple food in Ghana, enhancing it with Vitamin A is a long- term approach to minimising Vitamin ‘A’ Deficiency (VAD) in the country.
He said this new maize variety containing high bio-vitamin ‘A’ is being promoted, hence the introduction of orange maize varieties to farmers.
He explained that Vitamin ‘A’ deficiencies can lead to serious health implications in humans, especially pregnant women and children; and can result in growth retardation, weak immune system and night-blindness.
Dr. Ewool said the CSIR-CRI – with support from HarvestPlus Challenge programme through the International Food Policy Research Institute and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture-Nigeria – is ensuring that farmers adopt the newly introduced orange maize varieties through education, awareness creation, workshops and field days for farmers and end users in the country.
According to Dr Ewool, some schools in the municipalities and districts visited by CSIR- CRI had embraced the pro- vitamin ‘A’ orange maize into their School Feeding Programme.
This, he added, will enable farmers to cultivate on a large scale to earn them more income and improve upon their standard of living.
He expressed satisfaction with how most farmers and end users have embraced and developed a taste for the pro-vitamin ‘A’ orange maize varieties to promote food security and enhanced nutrition in the country.
Dr. Ewool therefore urged farmers and end users to contact the CSIR-CRI or offices of the Agriculture Departments and Agro-input dealers to access seeds for planting.