The Council for Scientific Industrial Research- Savannah Agricultural Research Institute appears to be fulfilling its mandate in the promotion of its technologies and activities in addressing social challenges in Northern Ghana.
With sponsorship from CGIAR Research programme on Legumes and Drylands Cereals (CRP-GLDC) and working with ICRISAT and the private sector, the activities of the institute in the promotion of its developed improved certified cowpea varieties seems to be encouraging youth into Agriculture.
This appears to be addressing issues of rural-urban migration in Northern Ghana as the youth especially those from Northern Ghana who hitherto moved down south to engage in non-farming activities in view of the fact their farms had low yield have started returning home and engaging in various agriculture supply chain activities.
Though the Tropical Legumes III project has been completed, some success of the project could be leveraged thereby encouraging the youth and private sector into various value chain activities in Agriculture, especially in the production of certified and improved seeds.
Under the project there had been a Developed and popularized improved cowpea varieties to beneficiary
Farmers, set up multi-stakeholder platforms among beneficiary communities, trained members of these platforms and ensuring sustainable production and delivery of various certified cowpea seeds varieties to beneficiary farmers
Fuseini Zaanyeya in the Tolon District of the Northern Region who is a beneficiary of the Tropical Legumes III project revealed how he had migrated to Accra and was involved in the trade of metal scraps.
According to him, during a visit to his community in a farming season, he was introduced to farming by Heritage Seeds, a private seed company participating in the implementation of the project in Northern Region.
Fuseini is now into full time farming and aggregation in his community and fully established in working with Heritage Seeds, a seed company, established in March, 2010 and specialized in marketing, sales and production certified cereal and legumes seeds.
The involvement in the project has resulted in the increase in the production of certified and improved cowpea seeds. They have also reached out to more farmers, including the youth like Fuseini Zaanyeya.
Dr. Julius Yirzagla revealed that the promotion of 6 improved cowpea seed varieties including; Padi-tuya, Songotra, Zaayura, Apagbala, Kirkhousebenga and Wankai has led to 200 tons of foundation seeds produced nationwide, 3,000 tons of certified seeds produced by beneficiary communities, 4 innovative platforms set up across northern Ghana and 2,800 innovation platforms members trained.