Effects of storage material on the seed quality characteristics of four rice varieties in Ghana

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AUGUST, 2015
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A field survey and seed storage experiment on farmer-saved seeds was carried out to determine the type of storage materials commonly used by farmers and their effect on the rate of deterioration. Rice varieties were collected from three rice growing districts in the Northern region of Ghana in December, 2014 season. The seed storage experiment was set up in a 4x4 factorial experiment (varieties x storage materials) arranged in a completely randomised design with four replications under ambient conditions in a laboratory. Rice seeds were evaluated before storage and after storage for physical purity, moisture content, germination percent, germination speed and electrical conductivity. The result showed that (36.7%) of farmers harvested rice 8-14 days after physiological maturity and 88% of them threshed their seeds by beating with sticks either on bare ground or on tarpaulin. Majority of the farmers stored seeds in woven nylon (47%) and jute (29%) sacks. Jasmine-85 packaged in woven unlined nylon sack had the higher moisture content (12.5% and Gomba the least (10.4%). Seeds stored in unlined nylon sack had higher moisture content (12.5%) than seeds stored in lined nylon sack (11.4%). Seeds stored in unlined jute and unlined nylon sacks had higher germination percentage (64.9% and 64.8%) respectively whiles lined nylon sacks had lower germination percentage (60.8%). Seeds stored in unlined nylon sacks recorded the highest germination speed (51.38 seedlings day-1) and conductivity values (21.82 μS cm-1g-1). The study also showed that the type of storage material did not affect the seed vigour of the varieties after the 3 months of storage. GR18 recorded a higher number of Prostephanus truncates and Tribolium casteneum insects while Digang had the least infestation by both insects. The study concluded that unlined nylon sack was a better storage material with regard to seed quality attributes of the rice varieties
A thesis submitted to the Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agriculture of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) Seed Science and Technology.