December 04, 2022
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CSIR-Crops Research Institute honours Kofi Annan posthumously

Dr Kwaku Afriyie (right), Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, inspecting some of the new yam varieties Dr Kwaku Afriyie (right), Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, inspecting some of the new yam varieties

The Crops Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has honoured former UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, posthumously for contributing towards research into new varieties of sweet potatoes by naming one after him.

The late Mr. Annan, a commercial potato farmer himself, founded the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to support institutions with funding to improve on the production of the crop.

Through his efforts and support, the institute, between 2017 to now, has come out with about seven new varieties, one of which has been named "Kofi Annan."

The AGRA is an organisation dealing with agricultural products in Africa.

Broadly, it deals with improving agric products and supporting local farm owners and labour.


The Director of the CRI, Prof. Moses B. Mochiah, made this known at Fumesua, near Kumasi, yesterday at the start of a three-day familiarisation tour of the Ashanti Region by the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie.

The minister toured the Crops Research, the Forestry Research, Building, and Road Research institutes, all under the CSIR.

About 150 varieties of different crops have been released into the market, most of which are operated through farm groups.

They include 18 varieties of cassava and three high-yielding varieties of cocoyam, as well as Meko Ntos, a variety of pepper that can be prepared without adding tomatoes.

The institute has also begun popularising a new yam seed variety to produce high-quality and clean seeds to ensure that the crop is produced in a smaller size to avoid waste.

At least three farmer groups are working with the institute to ensure virus-free and high-quality produce.


The Director-General of the CSIR, Prof. Victor Kwame Agyeman, hinted that more than 90 percent of maize and about 70 percent of cowpeas consumed in Ghana were from the CRI.

Unfortunately, he said, because the varieties were sent directly to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture which managed the farmers directly, a lot of people do not know.

The minister said there was a disconnect between the science community and the public.

He said science was the fulcrum of Ghana’s development which needed to be trumpeted.

Dr. Afriyie said although the ethics of science frowned on boasting or telling one's own story, it was time the status quo changed by "blowing our own horn."

"You should be proud of yourselves. Your contribution to every sector of the economy is so conspicuous and must be told," he said.

The minister said it was time every Ghanaian began to appreciate science because it holds the key to the country's development.


Source: Graphic online

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Last modified on Wednesday, 12 May 2021 08:25
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