UCC School of Agriculture bids Mosaic disease goodbye with new varieties of cassava

Prof. Asare Bediako, one of the senior lecturers and Dean of school of Agriculture in the University of Cape Coast has revealed that the new cassava varieties produced by the University of Cape Coast can withstand the deadly mosaic disease.

The mosaic disease is one the diseases that affects the production of cassava and renders ineffective, the hard work of cassava farmers. It is against this background that Prof. Asare Bediako, made this glad pronouncement on the Atlantic Wave Morning show, on ATL FM.

He therefore went on to explain that the disease really affects the income of the farmers and therefore needs to be eradicated else, it would cause huge levels of damage both to the crop and to the financial stability of even the farmer.

“One major problem of cassava production is the cassava mosaic disease. This cassava mosaic disease seriously affects the yield of the crop. So, if you want to go into cassava production as a business, then this disease will really affect your income and therefore it is very important that we are able to manage this disease”.

He further went on to describe the various types of cassava and their various uses; intimating that as a result of a collaboration between some scientists, the Ghana Atomic Energy and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, in conjunction with the University of Cape Coast, three new varieties of cassava have been produced. These three varieties are however, rich in vitamin A, one of the vitamin deficiencies currently in Ghana especially among pregnant women and children.

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“There are two varieties of cassava, one that can be boiled for ampesi and fufu and one that is meant for processing for cassava dough and gari. In view of this, we have also developed three varieties. One of them is the yellow fleshed released by the Crop research institute called “Lamesese”. In conjunction with scientists from the Ghana Atomic Energy and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in collaboration with the School of Agriculture have produced the yellow fleshed cassava that is rich in vitamin A. As I always say, vitamin A deficiency is something that bothers a lot of Ghanaians especially women and children” he stated.

However, Dr. Julius Hagan also revealed the names of the other two cassava varieties, “fufuhene and Ampesihemaa”. He also added that today, gari has become an international export debunking the claims that when one eats gari, he or she is likely to develop an eye problem. However, one of the benefits of the new varieties is that it is rich in vitamin A and rather protects the eye.

Recently, the School of Agriculture led by Prof. Aaron T. Aasare, also out doored the seven (7) new cowpea varieties.

BY: ONESIPHORUS OBUOBI

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