The Crops Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-CRI) is strengthening collaboration with stakeholders in the pepper value chain in the development of varieties for both local and international markets.
Senior Research Scientist and Vegetable Breeder at CRI, Dr. Michael Kwabena Osei, said the move is meant to ensure that players in the sector utilized varieties released by the Institute.
“In the past years that the CRI released pepper varieties, farmers were not involved in the process and even though the varieties were there, we saw that the patronage was not good.
“We are now doing demand-led-breeding. That involves the CRI mobilizing the stakeholders so that they will be part of the selection process of new varieties,” he said.
According to Dr. Osei the Institute is presently undertaking participatory selection of about 28 different lines of pepper varieties, obtained from the World Vegetable Center.
The participants of the field trip comprised market players, farmers, seed companies and research scientists.
They looked at the general appearance of the different lines of pepper, disease, fruit appearance, sizes, shapes, fruit colour, pungency and degree of hotness.
This will help in the good selection and undertake multi-location trials in different agro-ecological zones to see how selected lines performed.
The Shito Adope and Maakontose are the varieties released in 2005.
Director, CSIR-CRI, Prof. Moses Brandford Mochiah, highlighted the need to expand the pepper production to boost the local and international market.
“It plays a vital role in the lives of many people. In Ghana they are used in all types of food preparation and come in different types such as the scotch bonnet, long cayenne and the bird eye,” he said.
A Scientist at the World Vegetable Center, Dr. Derek Barchenger, assured of the organization’s readiness to collaborate with stakeholders in sustainable vegetable production.
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