CSIR-SARI develops new groundnut varieties to enhance food security

CSIR-SARI develops new groundnut varieties to enhance food security

Two high-yielding climate-tolerant groundnut seed varieties, Sarinut 1 and Sarinut 2, have been developed by the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-SARI) in the quest to enhance the country’s food security agenda.

The improved seeds, which were recently introduced to farmers in Sabegu and its surrounding communities in the Tolon district of the Northern Region, were first released in 2019. The varieties, according to CSIR-SARI, are resistant to early and late leaf-spot diseases, and some diseases of groundnut that can cause up to 90 percent yield loss in certain environments.

The Institute noted that the varieties are adaptable to climate change, high in protein and oil, drought tolerance, and have a long storage span, with the SARINUT-2 being highly recommended for the Upper East Region.

During a field demonstration exercise at Sebegu in the Tolon district, it was observed that the new varieties – as against the Chinese ones – had yielded well, and the farmers were sure of harvesting more than expected bags of groundnut this year.

Some farmers who spoke to the B&FT during a field visit to one of the demonstration farm sites at Sebegu lauded the Institute’s intervention, and gave assurance that they will adopt and use the new varieties in the next farming season. They appealed that the Institute should make the improved varieties readily available for purchase for the upcoming season.

A Research Scientist in-charge of Seed System Development at the CSIR-SARI, Dr. Doris Kanvenaa Puozaa, said the Institute is poised to undertake research and come out with crop varieties to boost agricultural production in order to ensure food security. She said the demonstration sought to educate and show farmers the need to adopt improved seed varieties for higher yields.

Dr. Puozaa said the new varieties were officially released last year, after they were developed in 2019, and approved by the National Varietal Release and Registration Committee after assessing them on the field.

She noted that the new varieties could yield between eight to 12 bags in half an acre of land, compared to the available variety which produces three to five bags on the same land size.

Development of the varieties received resource support from the Accelerated Varietal Improvement and Seed Delivery of Legumes and Cereals in Africa (AVISA) project, and the Upscaling Improved Groundnut Varieties project aimed at helping to boost groundnut production across the country.

Plant Breeder and Head of Groundnuts Improvement Programme at CSIR-SARI, Dr. Richard Oteng-Frimpong, said the Institute is committed to releasing improved groundnut varieties for smallholders to achieve improved nutrition, greater yields, higher incomes and improved livelihoods.

“Releasing the varieties will boost groundnut production in the country, and farmers need to adopt the new varieties to secure and improve their farms to enable them maximise more yields,” he added.

Profile of Sarinut 1 &2 varieties

The Sarinut 1 has a longer duration of maturity and grows very well in areas where there are longer rainy periods, compared to the Sarinut 2 which takes 90 days to mature.

The two groundnut varieties mature within 90 to 110 days and 115 to120 days respectively in the northern part of the country. They also produce better yields and possess nutritional benefits such as high oleic and higher amounts of protein, and are early-maturing.

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