The Ghanaian Legacy Crop Improvement Centre (LCIC) has achieved a significant milestone in agricultural research, developing advanced maize seed varieties that demand reduced chemical fertilizer application. These groundbreaking varieties, namely “Legacy 2” (white maize) and “Legacy 26” (yellow maize), have been heralded as transformative for Ghana’s agricultural landscape. Smallholder farmers in the Fanteakwa North District were introduced to these game-changing seeds.
Dr. Amos Rutherford Azinu, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of LCIC, emphasized the remarkable traits of these varieties. They exhibit exceptional adaptability to diverse climatic conditions, offering farmers a more reliable and sustainable solution to boost their production. These varieties have the potential to yield eight to nine metric tonnes per hectare, surpassing the productivity of existing strains. Additionally, they boast high nutritional content and an extended shelf life, making them even more valuable.
Dr. Azinu highlighted that these Legacy varieties have a significantly shorter maturity period, taking only 85-90 days compared to the 120-130 days required by older variants. While they are not resistant to fall army worms, a common threat to maize crops, LCIC promptly addressed this issue by employing fall army worm chemical to eliminate the pests. Dr. Azinu reassured that LCIC is actively working to develop varieties resistant to these worms in the future.
Mrs. Veronica Dadson, a Management Information System (MIS) Officer of the Department of Agriculture in Fanteakwa North District and Women in Agriculture (WIA) representative, lauded the Legacy maize varieties for their assured germination. She noted that planting just one seed per hole resulted in remarkable yields. Farmers were advised to use nine kilograms of Legacy 2 and Legacy 26 per standard acre of land. Additionally, she cautioned against replanting harvested Legacy seeds, as it could lead to reduced yields due to shrinkage.
Mr. Samuel Terpker Tetteh, a 26-year-old farmer who received the Best Youth Farmer award in the Fanteakwa North District in 2022, attested to the superior yields of the Legacy varieties. According to him, while traditional varieties produced 2-4 bags of maize per acre, cultivating Legacy varieties resulted in an impressive harvest of 8 bags per acre.
LCIC, established in November 2015, stands as the first private local seed business specializing in the production and marketing of basic seeds. Headquartered in Legacy Square, a smart seed business center situated in Otareso in the Eastern Region, LCIC continues to pioneer innovations that promise a more prosperous future for Ghanaian agriculture.