The Ghana National Variety Release and Registration Committee (NVRRC) recently conducted a field inspection and review of performance data at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI) in Nyankpala, Ghana.
The event was attended by standing members of the NVRRC consisting of experts drawn from the Ministry of Agriculture, universities, and research Institutes. It was also attended by staff from the host institution, SARI, and by the CIP breeding team, including Daniel Akansake, the assistant breeder who made initial selections and managed trials leading to the release, Reuben Ssali, Ted Carey and Tom van Mourik, CIP-Ghana Country Manager. CIP team members from the postharvest lab prepared snacks from the varieties proposed for release. Dr. Joseph Adjebeng-Danquah SARI root and tuber breeder made the presentation of the varieties and their performance.
The candidate varieties were all bred in Ghana under the SASHA project at the Sweetpotato Support Platform for West Africa, and we were selected for adaptation to the savannah agroecological zones of northern Ghana where they were consistently superior to the currently important varieties with respect to yield, dry matter content, and in one case, weevil reaction.
The candidate varieties, their flesh color and their proposed release names are:
- PGA14008-9: 27.5 dry matter, pale orange, SARI-Suyolo (means full sack in Kassem)
- PGA14011-43: 26.7 dry matter, orange, SARI-JanLow
- PGA14372-3: 35.6 dry matter pale yellow, SARI-Tiemeh (meaning support me in Dagaari)
- PGA14398-4: 32.6 dry matter pale yellow/orange, SARI-Nyoriberi-Gu (meaning multiple profit in Kusal)
The NVRRC recommends releases to the Minister of Agriculture. The varieties may be officially released within one month. The four new varieties of sweet potato are expected to improve the nutritional status whilst ensuring food security and improved income for farmers.