The Director
Savanna Agricultural research Institute,
Post Office Box 52, Tamale/Ghana/West Africa
Tel: +233 (0)3720 91205
Fax: +233 (0)3720 23483

Thursday, January 30, 2014


The following maize varieties include DT Syn-1- W (Sanzal-sima), IWD C3 Syn F2 (Ewul-boyu), TZE – Y DT STR C4 (Bihilifa), GH120 DYF/D Pop (Tigli) and TZE – W DT STR C4 (Wang Dataa), were released to farmers for cultivation in 2012.

The soybean varieties were  Afayak, Songda and Suong–Pungun.

The National Variety Release and Technical Committee under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) declare the varieties released at the location of the CSIR-Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI at Nyankpala.

It the took researchers scientists five years to experiment before they were proposed for release by the CSIR– SARI in partnership with CSIR – Crop Research Institute and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan,Nigeria.

The varieties have the following attributes: high yielding, tolerance to drought, striga resistance, and good grain qualities.

Duration: The maize varieties take between 90 days to 115 days to mature with potential yields ranging from 4.5 tonnes per hectare to 5.4 tonnes per hectare.

These varieties, both the maize and soybean, are more adapted to Guinea and Sudan Savanna climatic conditions of northern Ghana

Wednesday, October 23, 2013



The importance of access to agricultural technologies by our farmers continued to be a subject of much discussion during 2010. The key role that agricultural technologies play in improving productivity for farmer and the great impact that adoption of these technologies can make to livelihoods is recognized at the highest national level. Similarly, the many constraints to productivity and difficulties that affect farmers' access to appropriate technologies have been identified and various suggestions made. As these discussions continue, the challenge of feeding 24.4 million people in Ghana continues to be a cause for concern and severe challenges such as climate change emerge to complicate matters.

With a mandate to provide farmers in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions with appropriate technologies to increase their food and fibre crop production based on sustainable production system which maintains and/or increase soil fertility, SARI and its partners made good progress during 2010 that we are happy to share with you. These are captured under Scientific Support Group, Northern Region Farming System Research Group, Upper West Region Farming System Research Group and Upper East Region Farming System Research Group.
Nevertheless, work on the Emergency Rice Initiative Project with funding from USAID improved farmers' access to quality rice seed and fertilizer and expanded knowledge on best-bet rice technologies. The project reached out to 12,635 farmers in 27 districts in the three northern regions and increased paddy production by 28,663 tons. These farmers gained access to best-bet rice technologies through on-the-job training and videos on rice technologies. Rural radio and TV broadcasts on these technologies were also used to reach other farmers not directly involved in the project. Translation of rice technologies into 7 major languages namely Dagbani, Kusal, Dagaari, Gonja, Kassin, Sisali and Buli was one of the major achievements chalked by the project.

I am glad to report that SARI continued expanding it partnerships and collaborations so as to comprehensively and holistically address farmer constraints in Northern Ghana. SARI worked with partners to boost maize-based cropping system productivity in Northern savannah zones through widespread adoption of integral soil fertility management. Adoption of best practices by farmers resulted in maize yield of as much as 3-4 t/ha. Further studies on inoculation of soybean with rhizobium also resulted in 30-40% yield increase at farmer level. Work on the installation of the facility for confined field trial (CFT) on developing a Maruca resistant cowpea had made significant progress with a favourable regulatory decision by the National Biosafety Committee to permit SARI to conduct the first CFT in 2013.

I wish to commend the staff, management and Board of SARI for the excellent work that they continue to do. Bringing technologies on a royalty-free basis for use by farmers in Northern Ghana and doing that through partnerships and collaborations with others is no mean feat. I believe that agricultural technology can and should make a difference to our farmer' lives. To achieve this, business as usual will not get these technologies into the hands of the farmers- there is a lot more that needs to be done, some differently.

Looking back, 2010 was a good year for SARI and on behalf of the Management Board, I would like to most sincerely thank all SARI partners, donors, staff and Board members for their support and commitment to the fulfillment of the SARI vision and mission.

Dr. Stephen K. Nutsugah
NB: Copies of the 2010 Annual Report are available in SARI Library. Contact the Librarian for details.

Monday, August 12, 2013

BI-WEEEKLY SEMINAR for 13th August, 2013

On the 13th of August the usual bi-weekly seminar will be organised. there will be a presentation from Mr. Prince Maxwell Etwire from the Economics Section on the topic Adaptation Responses of Smallholder Farmers to Climate Change and Variability in Ghana. Also a presentation from Mr. Edem Halolo from the Rice section on the topic, Effects of Slow Release Fertilizer on Growth and Yield of IR28. Time is at 2:00 pm. All should endeavour to be present. Thank You


A news item was published on the G.N.A website regarding AVCMP innovation of transforming motor-tricycle, popular known as "Motor king" into a marvellous video technology to serve communities in the form of information transfer. this lovely news item was written by Mr. Albert Oppong-Ansah of GNA. For the full story visit

Monday, July 22, 2013


Inter cropping and/or relay cropping has been the major cropping pattern in northern Ghana. This pattern makes maximum use of resources like land, labour, radiation and available moisture. This in the long run, ensures that if one crop fails, the other will produce something. Since the introduction of cotton in to the farming system the cotton companies have been insisting on sole cropping of the crop for fear of loosing on the yield. Nevertheless, cotton intercrop with cowpea has some advantages.  For example the cowpea benefits from routine insect control on the cotton, even if the cowpea is not directly sprayed.  This study was carried to see the overall returns of intercropping cotton with cowpea.
Two main designs namely, the additive and substitutive, were compared with the sole cotton at planning distances of either 80 ×30 cm or 90 ×30 cm. In the additive design a row of cowpea is introduced between every two rows of cotton. This gave a ratio of 100% cotton to 72% cowpea (in the case of 80 ×30 cm sole) and 100% cotton to 66% cowpea (in case of 90 ×30cm sole cotton).
In the substitute design two rows of cotton spaced at 90 cm × 30 cm is alternated with two rows of cowpea spaced at 60 ×20 cm.  This gives a ratio of 89% cotton to 60% cowpea, based on recommended sole crop population of cotton and cowpea. Crop stand was 2 plants per hill for each crop in all the cropping patterns.
It was observed after 3 years of study at Nyankpala (1997 – 1999) that cowpea yields were higher in the additive option than in the substitutive and sole crop option showing that in the additive situation competition for resources favours the cowpea more than the cotton. Nevertheless, the farmer stand to benefit since cowpea is more expensive than cotton. Moreover, there is no significant yield loss to cotton. Cowpea utilized resources better than cotton in the intercrop.
Over the years it has been observed that the market price ratio of cowpea to cotton at 1:2.4 (on weight basis). Hence assuming 1 kg of cotton sells at ¢1.00, then 1 kg of cowpea will sell at ¢2.50. The Table below therefore depicts the profit that will accrue to a farmer who practices any of the cropping systems.
  Yield and gross benefit of component crops in cotton/cowpea intercrop. Nyankpala, 19997-1999
Cropping pattern
Seed cotton yield (kg/ha)
Cowpea grain yield (kg/ha)
Gross Benefits (¢)
Sole cotton (80×30 cm)
Sole cotton (90×300)
Sole cowpea
Substitutive (89:60)
Additive intercrop (100:66)
Additive intercrop (100:72)


Rice Improvement: Seed
-Gbawa Rice (Perfumed) is available for sale to interested persons
Maize Improvement
Cassava Improvement
Yam, Sweet potato, Frafra potato
Cotton Improvement
Vegetable Improvement
sorghum Improvement
Legumes Improvement
Crop protection