CSIR-CRI introduces iREACH technology to boost food security, crop value chain
As part of efforts to ensure food security and sustainable agriculture practices in Ghana, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Crops Research Institute (CSIR-CRI), has showcased new technologies for onward adoption.
These technologies were driven from maize, cowpea, peanut and root and tuber crops such as yam, cassava, sweet potato, cocoyam and taro and a range of seeds, good agronomic practices through to post harvest technologies.
Dubbed Innovative Research and Extension Advisory Hub (iREACH), it aims to showcase innovations to boost crop value chain adoption and improve food security, under the auspices of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the West and Central African Council for Research and Development (CORAF) and Kansas University.
The programme seeks to showcase ready-to-go agricultural technologies from the West Africa sub-region.
In Ghana, the Agricultural Technology Park has been established in Kumasi with satellite site at CSIR-SARI, Tamale.
A total of 21 technologies are being showcased with plans for the establishment of training sites to train stakeholders all year round.
Beneficiaries of the programme are farmers, agriculture extension officers, seed companies, agro input suppliers, international agencies and the government as well.
Professor Moses Mochiah, Director, CSIR-CRI, at the launch of the project at Fumesua in the Ejisu Municipality of Ashanti Region, noted that the Institute being a pre-eminent and largest of CSIR institutions, envisioned to become the first centre of excellence for innovation and quality agricultural research for development.
He said the CRI was, therefore, developing and disseminating appropriate technologies for high and sustaining food and Industrial crop production at both national and international levels.
The Institute had strived to improve its human and infrastructure capacity to develop and deliver high quality agriculture research product and services.
“The Institute trains and creates opportunities for training scientists, technologies and staff of the institute, which seeks to enhance their competencies to conduct quality research and technology innovation,” he explained.
Prof. Mochiah pledged to collaborate effectively with organizations to develop appropriate agricultural technologies for improving livelihoods of farmers and agro based stakeholders.
Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said research outcomes on one hand was not readily available to end users, and they were considered too expensive to deploy.
The Minister’s statement, read by Mr. John Manu, Ashanti Regional Director of Agriculture, however, indicated that various technologies and extension were on display for adoption.
Dr Akoto said Ghana was on a mission of leveraging agriculture across all sectors.
In line with the government’s agenda to revolutionalise the sector, e-agriculture is being championed to ensure efficient delivery of services to farmers and actors along the agriculture value-chain to enhance productivity and economic stability.
Some areas where technologies have been deployed are soil mapping, extension services, development of database for the biometric registration of farmers and disease control among others.
Dr Akoto expressed optimism that these technologies would contribute to job creation and food security as well as poverty reduction.