Position: HOD Cereals; RSA President
Qualification: PhD (Plant Breeding)
Area of Specialization: Rice Breeding
• Genetics of Grain Quality and Agronomic Traits in Rice.
• Genetics of Rice Yellow Mottle Virus and Blast Diseases in Rice.
• Breeding rice for high yield, disease tolerance (rice yellow mottle virus and blast) and consumer preferred grain quality.
• Breeding for nitrogen and water use efficiency in rice using transgenic technology.
Tel: +233 240 194 489
Station: Fumesua, Kumasi (Ghana)
Dr. Maxwell Darko Asante is a rice breeder at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-Crops Research Institute (CRI). He is Ghana’s representative on the African Rice Breeders’ task force and the principal investigator for the NEWEST (transgenic rice transformed for nitrogen use efficiency, drought and salt tolerance) rice project in Ghana. He led the release of six lowland/irrigated varieties in 2017. Prior to this, he had been part of team that released eight rice varieties.
His passion is to develop high yielding rice varieties with excellent cooking and sensory qualities. He believes that this will help domestic rice capture a large portion of the Ghanaian market, which is presently being controlled by imports. He applies modern SNP marker technologies to facilitate his breeding efforts.
He is a Senior Lecturer in Plant Breeding and Genetics at the CSIR College of Science and Technology (CCST), Kumasi, Ghana and a Guest Lecturer at the Pan African University Life and Earth Sciences Institute (PAULESI), University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. He supervises post-graduate dissertations for students from these two universities and other universities in Ghana and abroad.
Dr. Asante obtained a B.Sc. (Agriculture) degree and a Diploma in Education from the University of Cape Coast in 1998. He also holds an M.Sc. (Plant Breeding) from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi and a Ph.D. (Plant Breeding) from the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana, Legon. His Ph.D. dissertation was entitled “Genetic Analysis of Grain Quality Traits in Rice”.
Dr. Asante is a member of the Ghana Science Association and the current President of the CSIR-CRI, branch of the Research Staff Association of Ghana.
Maxwell is a well-travelled scientist who has attended conferences, workshops, and training programmes in many countries around the world. He has collaborated with institutions such as the Cornell University and USDA-Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Centre in the USA.
He has authored and co-authored three book chapters and over 20 peer reviewed articles in local and international journals including Molecular Breeding and Crop Science. He was adjudged the best scientist at CSIR-CRI and best agricultural researcher in Ghana for 2017.