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Apr 3, 2010

Ghana Releases Quality Protein Maize

In Ghana, Quality Protein Maize Project Started by Norman Borlaug Releases Four New Drought Tolerant, Extra Protein, Disease Resistant Corn Varieties

Both the African Press International and Afrique en Ligne report that Ghana has released four Quality Protein Maize (QPM) varieties that are drought tolerant and resistant to striga hermontica.  Their source for their reporting was the Nigeria-based International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

IITA helped develop three of the four released varieties including EVDT-W 99 STR QPM Co; TZE-W Pop STR QPM C0; and TZEE-W Pop STR QPM C0.  The fourth variety was developed by the National Maize Programme of Ghana.  All four were released by the Ghanaian Crops Research Institute (CRI) in collaboration with the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of Ghana.

Striga hermontica is a parasitic weed that has significantly constrained yields in the Savannah Agro-Ecological Zone of West Africa and through sub-Saharan Africa in general.  According to IITA, "[i]t is estimated the weed accounted for yield losses of between 20 and 80% in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and affecting the welfare and livelihood of over 100 million people.

QPM research that focused on hybrid breeding and field testing in Ghana was directed in the 1990s by  winner Norman Borlaug.  The IITA varieties recently released were developed through the funding support of the Nippon Foundation QPM Project during the period 2003-2006 and the Drought-Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) Project.

For more see:

"Ghanaian farmers get drought-tolerant maize to boost production," Afrique en Ligne, Lagos, 3 April 2010. 
"Ghanaian farmers get quality protein, drought-tolerant, and Striga-resistant maize varieties to boost production," African Press International, 2 April 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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