Horticulture is a major segment of agriculture, which deals with intensively cultured plants. The abundance of vegetables, fruits and other nutrient-rich horticultural products has a high potential of improving the health and well-being of the population. In recent times, there’s been a tremendous interest and increase in the demand for horticultural products due to awareness of the benefits derived from them.
The Horticulture Division is one of the eleven (11) divisions of the CSIR-Crops Research Institute (CSIR-CRI) aimed at developing and disseminating improved varieties and technologies of horticultural crops for sustainable production. The Division conducts basic and applied research to increase resistance of such crops to adverse environmental conditions.
The Division is made up of three sections namely “Vegetables”, “Tree/Fruit Crops”, and “Plantain/Banana”. The “Vegetables” as well as the “Tree/Fruit Crops” sections are located at Kwadaso while the “Plantain/Banana” section is located at the Head office of the Institute, Fumesua, all in the Ashanti region of Ghana.
Area of Specialization
The Division conducts research on vegetables (tomato, pepper, garden egg/eggplant, onion, okra, African Indigenous vegetables, carrots, cabbage, lettuce garlic etc.), tree and fruit crops (mango, citrus, pawpaw, avocado pear, pineapple, guava, cashew etc.) as well as Plantain and banana.
Specific areas of specialization are:
- Genetic improvement, production, processing, preservation and marketing of tropical fruit crops, vegetables, spices and medicinal plants.
- Dissemination of information and transfer improved technologies on horticultural crops
- Coordination of all research on horticultural crops and as a repository of scientific information relevant to the development of horticulture in Ghana.
The Division’s research interest includes:
- General improvement of vegetables such as tomato, pepper, eggplant, okra etc spanning the development of crop varieties that are demand-led and employs good agricultural practices for increased productivity
- Improvement in the genetic potentials of Tree and fruit crops including plantain and Banana
- Development of appropriate economic and husbandry practices for the production of horticultural crops.
- Development and improvement of existing methods of harvesting, packaging, storage, processing of specific horticultural crops.
- Study on the ecology and biology of pests and diseases of horticultural crops in the country and devise effective and appropriate control measures.
- Equipping farmers, extension personnel, exporters, NGOs and others interested in fruit and vegetable crops production through training and the provision of information.
The division has a current staff strength of 46 comprising scientists, technicians and field staff. The various sections (vegetable/tree and fruit crops/Plantain and banana) are each headed by a sectional head and the entire division is led by a Head of Division.