On Thursday 22nd February 2018 the CSIR-SARI Core of Excellence (CoE) Project, in collaboration with the IFDC – Agriculture Technology Transfer (ATT) Project and some of their collaborating partners hosted a cross-section of congressmen from the United States of America, staff of the USAID and the media at Ganoma Seed Processing Centre in Tamale. The congressmen were in the country to have a first-hand experience of some of the ongoing projects being funded by the USAID. The team, on arrival, were welcomed by the Chief of Party of the IFDC ATT Project, Dr. Gary Mullen, and the project manager of the CSIR – SARI Core of Excellence (CoE) Project, Dr. Wilson Dogbe. They used the opportunity to brief the team on the activities of the two projects, highlighting the synergies and general achievements of the two projects.
The exhibition at the venue was set up to depict the seed value chain, that is, from seed research, seed testing/certification, seed processing/packaging, seed distribution/information dissemination, soil testing/ analysis and seed use/yield maximization. The first stand, which was manned by the CSIR-SARI Core of Excellence (CoE) Project, was focused on seed research and innovation. Dr. Wilson Dogbe took time to explain to the congressional team the process involved in seed research, the role of the project in the institute and some of the achievements of the project so far. He mentioned the immense improvement in seed production since the inception of the project. “Seed production within the country has doubled and, in some cases, even tripled”.
Dr. Dogbe said, with support from USAID and other donor partners, the institute has been able to release seven improved maize varieties with varying attributes such as drought tolerance, Striga tolerance, protein enriched, higher yielding and shorter duration. He added that research is far advanced to release two new rice and one soybean varieties.Dr. Dogbe further stated that with support from the IFDC –ATT project an old irrigation project have been rehabilitated at Wanbong that has given scientist the ability to conduct experiments or field trials throughout the year instead of once. This has greatly reduced the length of time it takes to release new varieties and has gone a long way to improve seed research in CSIR-SARI.
The congressional team also visited stands from the Ghana Seed Inspection Unit, Ganoma seed processing plant, GreenEf and other seed companies present at the event. ATT took advantage to showcase their Urea Deep Placement method of fertilizer application and explain the advantages in the using such method and the scholarship scheme in partnership with the University for Development Studies to support students in their thesis work.