Crops Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-CRI), is implementing various research, technology and dissemination projects to help realize objectives of the ‘Modernizing Agriculture in Ghana (MAG)’ Programme.
The idea is to ensure increased adoption of relevant and production-enhancing technologies by men and women farmers.
MAG, being funded with Canadian Dollars (CAD) 135- million-initiative, is part of efforts to boost productivity and value chain development management in the country.
The five-year Programme focuses on demand-driven research and alternative methods of extension delivery to help add value to food crops produced by local farmers-for increased incomes.
A statement issued by the Public Relations Section of the CSIR-CRI, copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Kumasi, said CSIR-CRI under the initiative, would be facilitating the dissemination of technologies to farm households, farmer-based organizations and out-growers of nucleus farms.
The Programme comes in the wake of two previous Canada agriculture sector budget programmes supporting the implementation of Ghana’s Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy (FASDEP).
Strongly aligned with Ghana’s decentralized governance structures, it is being delivered in the country through four components.
These include; support to increase the efficiency of local farmers through value chain development and support to specialized agricultural services – to build national market linkages and promote efficiencies in commodity development along value chains.
Other components would deal with support to agricultural research to strengthen agricultural extension services and improve agricultural productivity, as well as support to improve Ghana’s competitiveness in international agricultural markets.
The statement said the CSIR-CRI in pursuance of the objectives of MAG, was engaged in a variety of activities, including; the development of breeder seeds of cereals (maize, rice) and legumes (cowpea, soybean) for production of certified seeds by seed producers.
It was also working to enhance production and supply of quality-declared cassava planting materials and sweet potato vines for the development of certified seeds by seed producers.
These efforts, according to the statement, were all in support of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PfJ) Programme, stressing that about 15 tons each of cereals and legumes; 60 hectares of quality-declared cassava planting materials; and five hectares of sweet potato vines would be produced.
The production and supply of quality-declared planting materials of four improved taro varieties in seven communities across the country -Jato Zongo, Gomoa Nkrankrom, Dominase, Kwadaso, Mankranso, Juaso and Ejisu, also formed part of ongoing research work by the CSIR-CRI.
The ultimate outcome of the MAG Programme is to engender a modern equitable and sustainable agriculture sector that contributes to food security and increased adoption of market-oriented approaches to farm management by farmers.
Other expectations are on increased private sector investment in sustainable agriculture input supply, production, marketing and processing in Ghana.
These expected outcomes are in line with the intended results of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture’s (MOFA’s) FASDEP and Medium Term Agriculture Sector investment programme (METASIP).
Other institutions under the CSIR also involved in the MAG Programme included; the Soil Research Institute, the Animal Research Institute, the Food Research Institute, the Water Research Institute and the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute.