The Savanna Agricultural Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-SARI) in the Northern Region has launched a Core Of Excellence Initiative to enable SARI increase its production of breeder and foundation seeds to support government’s Planting for Food and Jobs Programme.
The $5.5 million paid to SARI in 2015 which is a USAID-sponsored programme through its Feed the Future Initiative was hitherto aimed at improving the infrastructure of the research institute. But upon review, it has been channeled into developing seed production, business development, and communication units to better place SARI to diver on its mandate.
The project seeks to establish seed research facilities at the main SARI office in Nyankpala and provide a center for agricultural research which will provide a cutting-edge scientific research to serve as a catalyst for the rolling out of the project in the Northern Region.
The Director at SARI, Dr. Stephen Nutsugah, intimates, “the goals are to strengthen SARI’s capacity to conduct cutting-edge scientific research, build a business model suitable for supporting transformative research, and improve our capability of disseminating research result to various stakeholders”.
He outlined the roles of the initiative as “to achieve these objectives, a group of SARI personnel will be trained on strategies, principles, tools and practices to enhance SARI’s infrastructure,facilities, research agenda, and operational procedures”.
Dr Nustugah revealed that each team member will lead a specific development area and create an action plan for heightened performance in consultation with the institute’s personnel in the head office and outstation in the Upper East and Upper West regions.
“The team has the will to craft business plans to generate income to sustain the facilities and improve operation to communicate research results within and beyond SARI’s ears of influence”.
To this end, he reiterated the need to provide certified and affordable seeds for farmers as Ghana’s actual production lags behind its potential.
“There is an urgent need of quality seeds to farmers that they can afford because but our actual production considerably lags behind our potential to make available foundation and breeder to farmers. Therefore, there is much to be gained by promoting the growth and development of the seeds industry”.
The Deputy Agriculture Minister and also the Member of Parliament for the Walewale Constituency, Dr Sagre Bambangi, cut sod for the construction of a Seed Laboratory.
The minister revealed government will heavily depend on SARI for seeds for its project.
By Zubaida Ismail|3news.com|Ghana