DEPUTY SECTOR MINISTER VISITS CSIR-CROPS RESEARCH INSTITUTE

The Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Mrs. Patricia Appiagyei has expressed excitement at the level of research activities taking place at the CSIR-Crops Research Institute and has called on government to pay particular attention to the Institute concerning its “Planting for Food and Jobs” and “One district, One Factory” policies. The Deputy Minister made these comments when she paid a working visit to the Institute on Monday, 14th August, 2017. 

According to her, the Institute will be very vital when the government rolls out these policies.

During the visit, the Deputy Minister in the company of the Director of the Institute, Dr. Stella Ama Ennin, the Director-General of the CSIR, Dr. Victor Kwame Agyeman, scientists and staff of the Institute visited a number of research fields established at the Institute.

At the rice field, the Deputy Minster was introduced to locally grown rice varieties developed by the Institute. These included CRI-AgraRice and CRI-Amankwatia. These varieties though locally developed are comparable in quality and aroma to the imported ones.  The team also visited the cassava, taro, maize and yam fields where a number of varieties developed locally had also been established by the Institute.
The Minister was particularly excited about the Aquaponics-based Food System cottage established by the Resource and Crop Management division of the Institute.  This is a technology that integrates fish farming, crops and/or animal production such as small ruminants, grass cutters, rabbits, sheep, goats etc. as a comprehensive unit usually on 2.5 acres (1 ha) of land. 
It is a closed system which may involve several units such as aquaculture, a compost unit, livestock/poultry, vegetables, worms rearing, and crop production.  The output or effluent from one of these components becomes an input for another
The objective of this project, is  to increase smallholder food production through implementation of water conserving aquaponics-based food systems ensuring all-year-round food production.
The system has been established with rabbits, broilers/layers, tilapia/ cat fish, vemiculture, compost and fish effluent and about 1/4-acre of degraded land fertilized with the composted manure.  Hands-on training has been given to more than 150 persons (including fish farmers, extension and fisheries department staff) on the fish pond construction as part of the knowledge transfer and dissemination to the general public.
The Deputy Minister admonished the Institute to extend the training to national service persons as well.

Below are a few pictures from the visit.

The Director of CSIR-CRI, Dr. Stella Ennin (left) and a maize breeder at the Institute, Mr. M.B. Ewool introduce some released cereal varieties to the deputy minister (in cap) as the Director-General of the CSIR, Dr. Victor Agyeman looks on.

CRI Director introduces the Deputy minister to more cereal varieties developed by the Institute.

Dr Annan-Afful, a rice breeder explains what happens on the rice field to the team.

Mr B.M. Dzomeku, a Principal Research Scientist at the Institute introducing the team to the plantain multiplication technology which can be used to produced hundreds of planting materials from just one sucker.

Participants look on as Mr. Dzomeku explains the plantain multiplication technology.

Going through the fields

Dr Regina Sagoe of the Roots/Tuber improvement programme of the Institute introduces the team to newly developed taro and cocoyam varieties.

The Deputy Director, Dr Joseph Manu-Aduening, explaining a point to the team during the field visit.

It’s all smiles as Dr Ernest Baafi talks to the team about the sweetpotato improvement programme at the Institute.

The Deputy Director and Head of the Roots & Tuber improvement programme, Dr Joseph Manu-Aduening, talking about the various cassava varieties developed by the Institute.

A cross-section of participants during the field visit

A Principal Research Scientist and yam breeder, Dr Emmanuel Otoo, takes his turn on the yam field to explain the difference between Mankron-Pona and CRI-Pona.

Dr. Joseph Berchie, a Principal Research Scientist talking about the importance of fertilization in cassava production.

Participants listen attentively as Dr. Berchie explains the need for fertiliser use in producing cassava planting materials.

Dr Shadrack Amponsah takes the team through the Aquaponics technology.

Harvested catfish from the AFS cottage.