The Center for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR- SARI), has advised farmers to resort to Open Pollinated Variety (OPV) of maize seed due to the shortage of hybrid seed.

Mr Haruna Ali, an Agronomist with the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute said the varieties that were produced through crossed pollination of two or more parents were well domesticated to suit the changing local environment like Sanzal sima, Bihilifa, Wangdata and Abeleehi.

Mr Ali’s advice followed the publication by the Ghana News Agency of the shortage of foreign-made maize seed ‘Pioneer’ and Lake, which was affecting the planting of maize in the Sissala enclave.

He stressed that hybrid maize seed was a progeny of two genetically different parents whose performance was supposed to be superior to its parents in terms of yield and genetic purity, and mentioned some to include Lake 601, Lima Grains (LG), paneer, Lake 606, Seedco, Pannar.

He advanced the following reasons why farmers should go in for OPVs of maize that were available on the market for the farmers.

According to him “Modern OPVs varieties were well suited to various locclimatesate and are capable of withstanding dry spells or tolerant to drought as a result of climate change effects than hybrids varieties.”

“They can also be replanted year after year if production guidelines are maintained to enhance purity.

They can give economic yields of an average of 22 to 25 bags per acre with proper good agronomic practices, which makes a difference of eight to 10 bags”, he added.

The Agronomist also said another reason was the production of quality flour that had better flour volume than hybrids maize whilst the seeds did not require any special storage structure as it is done in hybrid maize.

The agronomist espoused that the seed cost was relatively cheaper as compared to foreign hybrid maize varieties and more economical for small-scale farmers to afford.

Mr Ali admitted that the OPVs did not demand high inputs requirements as was the case of hybrid maize and underscored that they were produced by the National Research institutions in the country that had expertise in the field of plant breeding.