The CSIR-Crops Research Institute has inducted Dr. Moses Brandford Mochiah, an entomologist and a Principal Research Scientist of the Institute into office as its new Director. The position of Director of the Institute became vacant after the immediate past Director, Dr. Stella Ama Ennin, the first female occupant of the office, successfully ended her tenure in March 2019. Prior to his appointment as the substantive Director, Dr. Mochiah was the Deputy Director of the Institute and also served as acting Director for a few months.
At his induction ceremony which was graced by the Director-General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), former Directors of the Institute and Directors of other Institutes under the CSIR, the new Director pledged to provide effective leadership and work hard towards attaining the Institute’s objectives and targets.
“We will ensure that the Institute maintains its enviable position as the foremost agricultural Institute under corporate CSIR, by working harder to improve on our research outputs, facilities and incomes. We will strive to achieve the objectives and outputs set under the five (5) strategic thrusts of the Institute”
Dr. Mochiah promised to work closely with the private sector in order to increase funding opportunities for the Institute’s research activities and also enhance the Institute’s image and competitiveness. He stressed the need for Government to fulfill its promise of allocating one percent (1%) of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to research.
He elaborated the numerous challenges that continue to face the Institute and promised to take necessary steps to address them.
“While we strive to improve on our overall performances, we do not intend to lose sight of the myriad of challenges that confront us as an Institute. Currently, we face numerous challenges including: inadequate funding for research, limited capacity for commercialisation, dwindling staff strength, inadequate laboratory and field equipment, deteriorating roads, land encroachment among others. Nevertheless, we are determined to adopt effective strategies to take advantage of available opportunities. We would also take pragmatic actions to deal with internal weaknesses which affect our general operations”.
PROFILE OF DR. MOSES BRANDFORD MOCHIAH
Dr. Moses Brandford Mochiah obtained his “Ordinary” and “Advanced” level certificates respectively from the Sunyani Secondary School and the Ghana Secondary Technical School between 1977 and 1984. He went further and obtained a Diploma in Education from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. He currently holds a PhD in Entomology, an MPhil in Entomology and a BSc in Zoology/Botany-all from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.
Since his appointment with the CSIR-Crops Research Institute in November, 2002, Dr. Mochiah has been involved in various research projects. His varied research interest spans from Integrated Pests Management (IPM), the ecology of insect pests and the development of integrated management strategies for pests of vegetables (cabbage, tomatoes, okra, pepper and eggplant) root and tuber crops (cassava and cocoyam), legumes (cowpea and groundnut) and CSIR-CRI mandated crops.
He is currently the coordinator and co-principal investigator for the ECOWAS Project on the Control of Mango Fruit Flies in Ghana. He has also served as the co-principal investigator for the Development and Delivery of Improved Production and Pest Management Packages to Peanut Farmers in Ghana.
As an entomologist, Dr. Moses Brandford Mochiah has been involved in the development and release of over twenty-five (25) crop varieties. He was part of the team that worked to release popular varieties such as “Crops Akomapa”, “Crops Ba”, “CRI-Aziga”, “CRI-AGRA SP09”, “ CRI-Kofi Annan”, CRI-Nkatie”, “CRI-Semenhyia” and “CRI-Otuhia”.
Dr. Mochiah was also part of the Groundnut IPM programme that was involved in the development and management of foliar diseases of groundnuts using local soaps in 2004. This technology has been adopted and being used by farmers in several districts of Ghana.
Dr. Mochiah has over one hundred (100) peer-reviewed publications such as refereed journal papers, edited research reports, consultancy reports, conference papers abstracts, book chapters and poster presentations, all of which have been published in international journals. He has travelled extensively, conducted research in both local and international research centres and participated in several national and international scientific conferences and workshops. He is also a fellow of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Nairobi Kenya.
Prior to his appointment as the acting and subsequently, the substantive Director of the CSIR-Crops Research Institute, he served as the Deputy Director for about a year. He was also the Institute’s Kwadaso station manager from May, 2016 to May, 2018 and the head of the Plant Health Division of the Institute from 1st January, 2013 to 31st December, 2014.
Dr. M.B. Mochiah has served on various committees within the Institute and has also been an examiner to several undergraduate and post-graduate students from external universities as well as the CSIR College of Science and Technology where he is a part-time lecturer. He has very good knowledge and experience in project management and writing of research proposals for funding.
Dr. Mochiah is a member of the African Association of Insect Scientists (AAIS), a member of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), a member of African Regional Postgraduate Programme in Insect Science Scholars Association (ASA) and a member of the CSIR- Research Staff Association (RSA).
He is currently a Principal Research Scientist and is married with three children.