CSIR-SARI Launches Core of Excellence Initiative
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research of the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI), has launched the Core of Excellence (CoE) initiative to support in improving institutional infrastructure. The CSIR-SARI in partnership with the USAID-Ghana and is supportors, Feed the Future Agricultural Technology Transfer (ATT) Project, and Iowa State University are to help develop the Institute’s core of excellence for agricultural research. The Core of Excellence (CoE) initiative aims at improving the institutional infrastructure and seed research facilities in the Institute’s main campus in Nyankpala, which is a principal team of researchers in the maize, soybean and rice value chains, along with communications and business development key personnel, would spearhead initiatives to push CSIR-SARI to a higher level of performance. The team is envisioned to catalyse and see through a long-term change process within the Institute where the CoE is intended to make CSIR-SARI the premier agricultural research system in the service of northern Ghana. Dr Wilson Dogbe, the Project manager, speaking at the launch said the goals were to strengthen SARI’s capacity to conduct cutting-edge science, build a business model intended for the Institute to support transformative research, and upgrade its ability to disseminate research results to various stakeholders. He said toward these objectives, a core group of Institute personnel would be trained on the strategies, principles, tools, and practices that they could deploy to upgrade SARI’s infrastructure, facilities, research agenda, and operational procedures. He said each team member would lead a specific development area and develop an action plan for heightened performance in consultation with Institute personnel in the head office and the out-stations in the Upper East and Upper West Regions. Dr Stephen Kwasi Nutsugah, Director of CSIR-SARI said, following a holistic approach, the CoE team had been tasked with creating business plans to generate income that would sustain facilities and improve operations, and upgrade its capacity to communicate research results within and beyond SARI’s area of influence. He said the CoE’s major thrust was to produce crop varieties of high
nutritional value and make their seeds available to farmers saying, “There is an urgent need to provide farmers with access to quality seeds that they could afford because our actual production considerably lags behind our potential to make
available foundation and breeder seeds to growers. “There is much to be gained by promoting the growth and development of the seed industry” He said the recent achievements of the Institute bode well for the establishment of its core of excellence and that in 2016, the Institute released seven maize hybrid varieties in March, five pearl millet varieties in July, and successfully organised a soybean kickoff event in October.
According to him this year, the National Varietal Release and Registration Committee (NVRRC) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) approved seven new maize hybrids developed by the Institute to be released for cultivation and consumption while five Frafra potato lines developed by the Manga station have passed the first inspection stage leading to their commercial release. The USAID direct support to the Institute, which is part of the agency’s Technical and Financial Support Project, would help leave a legacy of research excellence and aggressive income-generating opportunities. GNA