Current Projects

In line with CSIR-STEPRI’s mandate, and through the support of development partners, the following research programmes and development activities were carried out during the year under review:

NATIONAL SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION (STI) BASELINE STUDY

Introduction

The fundamental role of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in socio-economic development is well illustrated in the advancement of the developed and Newly Industrializing Countries (NIC). In all sectors of the economy, STI provides the tools for economic transformation and national growth. The high levels attained by developed nations came through STI policies, strategies and programmes formulated and implemented over time. For instance, the ability of a country to innovate and industrialize largely depends on its scientific human resource capabilities, and arrangements that allow capable scientists to produce new technologies, products and new processes for national progress. African nations have long acknowledged the role of STI in their development and have consistently emphasized the use of STI for national growth and wealth creation. Although the specified level of investment in Research and Development (R&D) and generally in STI has remained a mirage, African countries have in various ways made some efforts to bring STI to bear on their national development agenda. The Lagos Plan of Action of 1980 specifically enjoined African countries to invest one per cent of GDP in Research and Development (R&D) and to harness the transformative power of STI for socio-economic development (ATPS, 2002; Essegbey, 2015). Other continental declarations of intent on using STI for development include the Kilimanjaro Declaration of 1987, the Khartoum Declaration of 1988, and the Addis Ababa Declaration of 1998. Still recognizing the benefits of STI, the African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology (AMCOST) in 2005 adopted Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA) as a framework that articulates Africa’s vision for applying STI in all development efforts. The CPA also articulates the African Union (AU) agenda for harnessing STI to boost economic growth and to improve the lives of African people. Then again, the Addis Ababa Declaration on Science, Technology and Scientific Research for Development made at the African Union (AU) Summit in January 2007 echoed the need for African countries to commit investment to STI activities. The declaration went down to underscore the use of STI data to support evidence-based policy (IISD, 2007). Yet another important evidence of the intentions of African countries to harness and apply STI in addressing the development challenges is the elaboration of the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024), which the Heads of States of Africa adopted in 2014. The mission of STISA-2024 is to accelerate Africa’s transition to an innovation-led, knowledge-based economy (African Union Commission, 2014). This strategy was intended to underpin the long-term people-centered AU Agenda 2063. STISA-2024 currently illustrates the African resolve to harness the unlimited potential of STI for national development everywhere on the continent. It is to be achieved by improving STI readiness in Africa in terms of infrastructure, professional and technical competence, entrepreneurial capacity, and implementing specific policies and programmes in STI that address societal needs in a holistic and sustainable way. After establishing the African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicator (ASTII) initiative, African countries have recognized the importance of STI indicators and have established the African Observatory of Science, Technology and Innovation (AOSTI) in Malabo to create an information system on STI indicators and promote the use of data and statistics in the Africa’s policy cycle (AOSTI, 2014). The use of STI indicators, according to the AOSTI, will provide the means of assessing how development plans, policies and programmes are responding to Africa’s socio-economic development needs and challenges. Ghana has had an STI policy since 2010. However, despite the crucial role of STI in achieving sustainable socio-economic development, Ghana lacks a national STI system for monitoring and evaluating STI performance. Therefore, a national STI database to inform policy on STI activities in Ghana is critical for assessing, monitoring and evaluation of Ghana’s STI systems. It was in this vein that a national STI baseline study was conducted in 2017.

Objectives

The main objective of the survey was to provide a national STI baseline data to form the basis for monitoring and evaluating STI activities and performance in Ghana. Among the specific objectives were to assess:

  • The state of infrastructure in the national STI system;
  • The quality of scientific research institutions and
  • Level of public and private sector investment in R&D; R&D human resource development; and the level of protection of intellectual property (IP).

Project Activities

A national baseline survey committee was constituted to oversee the success of the survey. STI data was collected from a sample of 38 R&D institutions across the country. In addition, 22 media houses were interviewed on their contribution to STI awareness in the country.

Conclusion

The STI baseline survey is crucial for Ghana. Future STI studies, mid-term reviews, STI project completion reports and other ex-post STI evaluations will judge progress largely by comparing recent data with the information from the baseline survey report. Research studies can also refer to the report to make decisions about STI development and use in Ghana. The STI baseline study report will be benefical to R&D institutions, policy makers, researchers and students.

 

DOES ADDRESSING GENDER INEQUALITIES AND EMPOWERING WOMEN IMPROVES DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME OUTCOMES? PROJECT UNDER  PARTNERSHIP for ECONOMIC POLICY (PEP)

Participating countries: Togo, Botswana, Uganda, Kenya, Nicaragua, Burundi and Ethiopia

Introduction

The project seeks to use the Community Based Monitoring System (CBMS) developed under the Policy for Economic Partnership team in the Philippines to assess the effectiveness of intervention programs and collect local level information on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The CBMS methodology is an institutionalize system for monitoring the various dimensions of poverty, develop a database useful for local governance and prioritization of interventions at the local level. The study will be conducted in selected communities in a planning unit in Atebubu-Amantin District where the Cassava Adding Value for Africa (CAVA) project has been implemented. Poverty profiles and poverty maps for the study sites will be generated for planning and local policy development process. As part of the CBMS Methodological approach, a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Report will be generated at the local level, thus localizing the SDGs for effective targeting of tailored interventions. The CBMS methodology helps in building local capacity in contextualized analysis and assists in local planning for innovative solutions and interventions.

Objectives

The objectives are:

(i) Implement a community-based monitoring system (CBMS) to monitor the different dimensions of poverty;

(ii) Investigate the effectiveness of intervention (the Case of CAVA Project) in addressing poverty reduction by gender;

(iii). Investigate barriers to women empowerment in the study communities (using women participation in CAVA project and other interventions; and

(iv). Recommend options for improving gender focused projects outcomes. The project is relevant because it is beneficial to local planning officials and policy makers.

Activities Implemented:

The following key activities have been conducted so far under the Project:

  • Development of Data Collection Matrix on poverty indicators for on-ward data collection programming;
  • Development of Data Collection matrix for theme research questions;
  • Development of Community Profile Questionnaire;
  • Development of Data Collection Training Manual;
  • Community-Based Monitoring System study visit by two (2) members of the project team. This was held in Manila, Philippines; November 20-24, 2017; and
  • Development of CBMS Design Paper.

Conclusion

Data collection using the Community-Based Monitoring System will be conducted in 2018. Report on localizing the SDGs in Ghana: the case of Atebubu District will be generated from the study findings. Research papers on the theme “Does Addressing Gender Inequalities and Empowering Women Improve Development” will be developed and published.

 

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL INTENSIFICATION RESEARCH AND LEARNING IN AFRICA (SAIRLA)

Collaborating Institution: Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI)

Introduction

Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Research and Learning in Africa (SAIRLA) is a fiveyear programme being implemented in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia. SAIRLA seeks to facilitate multi-scale learning to understand different ways of achieving Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (SAI) and their developmental implications. The programme functions through two processes, namely, a competitive research call for grants, and facilitation of a SAIRLA Learning Alliance between research organizations and other stakeholders. The Ghana National Learning Alliance (GH-NLA) seeks to improve the wellbeing of smallholder agricultural value chain actors, particularly women and youth through effective policies and investments in sustainable agricultural development.

Objectives

SAIRLA has four (4) key objectives including:

(i) Facilitate co-generation of research evidence that addresses equitable access to Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (SAI) processes by smallholders particularly women and youth;

(ii) Develop stakeholder engagement plan and facilitate Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (SAI) research evidence use by policy makers, investors and implementers in decision making processes;

(iii) Jointly identify means of achieving effective implementation of policy and business strategies that improves the capacity of poorer smallholders, especially women and youth to achieve Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (SAI); and

(iv). Network with local and external organizations to facilitate Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (SAI) knowledge management.

The project is relevant to smallholder agricultural value chain actors, particularly women and youth, policy makers, private sector investors and researchers.

Activities implemented during the period under review are listed below:

Outcome Mapping (OM) workshop

Outcome Mapping (OM) workshop was organized with project boundary partners at the CSIR-STEPRI Conference Room. A total of twenty three (23) project boundary partners drawn from academia, research, private sector, farmer based organizations and policy makers attended the OM workshop. The workshop sought to validate the desired outcome and collective actions for contributing to the achievement of the desired outcomes. Four (4) main categories of boundary partners including private sector, policy, media and research groups were identified for the OM process.

Policy Symposium on ‘Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (SAI): Policy implications

for Agriculture Modernization in Ghana’.

A policy symposium was organized by Ghana National Learning Alliance on 24th March 2017 at CSIR-STEPRI. Primarily, the policy symposium sought to share research information and facilitate policy discourse on the theme: ‘Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (SAI): Policy implications for Agriculture Modernization in Ghana’. The policy symposium attracted participants from policy, research and academia, media, development partners, farmer organizations and the private sector. The theme presentation covered understanding of SAI, Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) and Agricultural modernization. Concrete examples of SAI related policies, programmes and projects in Ghana were shared. Stakeholders agreed to the fact that the effectiveness of SAI related policies, projects and programmes in Ghana need to be assessed. It was agreed that agricultural modernization should incorporate both SAI technologies and the social aspects.

Policy symposium on excessive use of chemicals in the management of fall armyworm: Implications on Sustainable Agricultural Intensification in Ghana.

The Ghana National Learning Alliance under the Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Research and Learning in Africa (SAIRLA) program organized a policy symposium on the theme “Excessive Use of Chemicals in the Management of Fall Armyworm: Implications on Sustainable Agricultural Intensification in Ghana” with the aim of igniting the necessary experiential, technical and academic debates around it leading to the generation of appropriate policy actions for a more practical and sustainable approach to handling the Fall Armyworm (FAW) epidemic in Ghana. The symposium took place at the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (CSIR-STEPRI).

It was concluded that the pest infestation is a tripod problem which affect the environment, economy and the social values. Therefore, the solution should also envisage the problem in the same manner. It came to the fore that the use of chemicals alone could not be the ultimate solution due to the possibility of pest resistance build up. Other approaches to the fall army worm needs to be researched further such as the biological control. Inputs from local farmers should be encouraged and brought on board as part of the integrated solutions to this plague. The need for collaboration among countries and sustainability of all efforts was emphasized at the policy symposium.

Capacity Needs Assessment Survey

The capacity and policy needs assessment survey was conducted in March - April 2017. A total sample of 50 boundary and strategic partners of GH-NLA were covered in the survey with the following key objectives:

  • Characterize the demand for research evidence by the boundary and strategic partners of the GH-NLA;
  • Assess the current level of access to SAI information and research evidence;
  • Assess the level of utilization of SAI information and research evidence among policy makers including private sector investors and policy practitioners;
  • Investigate the extent to which researchers influence policy formulation, implementation and evaluation; and
  • Recommend ways of improving the capacity of boundary and strategic partners of GH-NLA for effective use of SAI research evidence.

Validation Workshop

The validation workshop was organized to allow survey respondents and other relevant stakeholders to validate the capacity needs assessment report. The main objective of the validation workshop was to bring on board GH-NLA boundary and strategic partners to validate findings of the capacity needs assessment conducted in April 2017. The workshop was attended by research coordinators, policy makers, experts, academics, donors and practitioners from government and private institutions and organizations.

Conclusion

The Ghana National Learning Alliance (GH-NLA) was launched on 24th February, 2017. So far activities conducted include:

i Organization of Outcome Mapping workshop,

ii Organization of Policy Symposia,

iii Capacity Needs Assessment Survey,

iv Organization of Validation Workshop and

v International Learning Alliance (ILA) workshop organized in Accra.

These activities have resulted in social learning among various stakeholders.

 

OPERATIONALIZING GREEN ECONOMY TRANSITION IN AFRICA

Introdction

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in collaboration with the German International Development (GIZ) developed a project entitled ‘Operationalizing Green Economy Transition in Africa’. The pilot phase of the project focused on five countries including Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique and Rwanda. In Ghana, CSIR-STEPRI collaborated with EPA (National Implementation Agency), CSIR-SARI and NDPC to implement the Green Economy Project.

Objective

The overall objective of the project was to enable the participating African countries translate national Green Economy and climate resilience strategies into concrete development plans at the sub-national level.

Research Activity

The following activity was conducted: National Training of Trainers in Ghana (Amasaman, Ga West).

 A National Training workshop was organised by Environmemtal Protection Agency (EPA) at the training school at Amasaman in Ga West Municipal. Participants were drawn from the Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations (MESTI), Environmemtal Protection Agency (EPA), participating planning units (Tema Metropolitan Assembly - TMA, Tolon and Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly - KMA), GDPC and Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and the private sector players. Participants were taken through GE Toolkits, providing step-by-step guide from the foundational, sectoral and the implementation phases. The 5-day training program started on 1st February and ended on the 5th February 2016.

i Baseline Studies of the participating planning units. A baseline survey was conducted in three planning units namely, Tolon District (Agriculture), Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (Biomass Energy) and Tema Metropolitan Assembly (Waste). Green Economy options were identified in the selected districts to address sector specific and cross sector challenges. General economic activities in the selected planning units, on-going green economy interventions, environmental issues and potential areas for greening in the selected sectors were established.

ii Development of Green Economy (GE) step-by-step guide and orientation for some staff of NDPC. An adapted step-by-step guide was developed as a means of appropriating the GE training compendium to the Ghanaian situation. iii Training of district planning stakeholders in each participating planning unit and training of regional planning officers.

iv Development of Replication Strategy drawing from the experiences and lessons from the pilot phase.

Major Findings

Extensive work has been done at the national level relating to Green Economy and building, resilience to climate change effects. For example, development of Green Economy Scoping Study, National Climate Change Policy and Green Economy Training Manuals among others. However, the challenge is operationalizing green economy implementation plans at the subnational level, a gap this project sought to bridge. The adapted step-by-step guide developed under the current project details the processes involved in transitioning from brown business as usual development into a greener growth path in all the four key dimensions of development including the social, economic, human capital and sustainable environment. There is a high level of convergence between the structure of the Integrated Green Economy Implementation Plan (IGEIP) and the District Medium Term Development Plan (DMTDP). The preparation of development plans at the sub-national level starts with the issuance of planning guidelines by National Development and Planning Commission (NDPC) to the MMDAs. Therefore, incorporating Green Economy issues in the NDPC guidelines will sharpen the focus and direction on district development priorities. This provides a good opportunity for using the Green Economy toolkit during the preparation of the next DMTDP.

Conclusion

The CSIR-STEPRI team provided expert inputs on the country specific context during the development of the Green Economy (GE) toolbox which was led by UNEP. The GE toolbox covers key assessments and methods as well as background knowledge necessary to plan and implement Integrated Green Economy Implementation Plan (IGEIP) at the district or local level. Drawing from the lessons and best practices under project implementation, the CSIR-STEPRI team now constitutes part of the critical number of trainers for GE application in Ghana.

 

PROGRAMME OF ACCOMPANYING RESEARCH FOR AGRICULTURAL INNOVATIONS (PARI)

Introduction

The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), in partnership with the German Government represented by the Centre for Development Research (ZEF) of the University of Bonn under its ‘One World, No Hunger’ initiative, is implementing the “Programme of Accompanying Research for Agricultural Innovations (PARI)”. PARI is taking cognizance of the successes of research and innovation initiatives in African agriculture and in consideration of the concept of integrated agricultural research for development (IAR4D) promoted by FARA, to build an independent accompanying research programme to support the scaling of agricultural innovations in Africa and thereby contribute to the development of the African agriculture sector.

The PARI will be implemented together with the Agricultural Innovation Centres (AICs) within the “One World, No-Hunger” initiative. The PARI is being implemented in 12 Pilot Africa countries that were preselected based on previous engagement of the countries in diverse German- supported initiatives. FARA coordinates the activities of PARI across the Africa continent. CSIR-STEPRI directly plays the role of Lead Implementing Institution for the PARI project in Ghana.

The PARI was initiated in 2014 and commenced its key activities in 2015. Deliverablesproduced in 2015 and 2016 include:

  • A report on Factors Influencing Scaling-up of Agricultural Innovations: Lessons from Ghana.
  • A report on Development and Analysis of the Rice Value Chain for the Hohoe and Jasikan Districts of the Volta Region, Ghana.
  • Two functioning innovation platforms established in Hohoe and Jasikan Districts.
  • Country dossier on the state of agriculture.
  • An inventory and analysis of agricultural technologies and innovations developed, transferred and unutilized over the last two decades.
  • An inventory and analysis of agricultural innovation platforms established and being operated in Ghana.
  • A report on agriculture investment initiatives within the agriculture innovation system. In 2017, CSIR-STEPRI conducted two main studies 1) Consumption and Marketing study to assess the drivers of rice preferences in Ghana; 2) Success stories of engage ment of policy makers in agricultural innovation processes in Ghana.

Objectives of the Study 1

To assess the drivers of rice preferences in Ghana to get better insights into factors that influence the sale, purchase, utilization and consumption of rice (local and imported) in Ghana Specific objectives were:

  • To assess rice consumption patterns in the Greater-Accra and Hohoe districts of Ghana
  • To identify motivational and inhibitory factors that influence rice purchase decisions
  • To assess attitudes and beliefs about rice
  • To identify perceived barriers that limit purchase and consumption of locally produced rice
  • To identify the determinants of rice sales and marketing in both rice-producing and non-rice producing areas;
  • To identify key issues for the development of an appropriate promotional and marketing strategy to stimulate the sale, purchasing, utilization and consumption of locally-produced rice in Ghana.

Objectives of Study 2

  • Identify and document two brilliant success cases of engagement of policy-makers in agricultural innovation processes (that took place in the last 5 - 10 years) in each PARI country,
  • Identify and document two brilliant failure cases of engagement of policy-makers in agricultural innovation processes (that took place in the last 5 - 10 years) in each PARI country, and,
  • Draw and document lessons about key success and failure factors of engagement of policy makers in agricultural innovation processes.

Research Activities

The research activities were preceded by a training for CSIR-STEPRI PARI Team in Mobile Data Collection Training Using ODK and KOBO Toolbox followed by procurement of mobile phone tablets. This enabled the research team to programme the survey instruments on mobile phone tablets. Two main study 1) Rice consumption study and 2) Rice marketing study, involving both qualitative and quantitative methods were conducted in Accra and Hohoe. The study was also extended to other users of rice including caterers, matrons and rice processors.

The deliverables of this study are research reports and journal publications.

Other activities were:

  1. a) Identifying and selecting most significant agricultural innovations;
  2. b) Identifying and discussing with policy makers on their engagement in agricultural innovation processes;
  3. c) Determining key factors of success and failure of engagement of policy makers in agricultural innovation processes; and
  4. d) Documentation of the agricultural innovation processes and engagement of policy makers.

Conclusion

The PARI project has provided a good opportunity for researchers to interact with key actors including policy makers of the agricultural value chain to understand the production, post-production and marketing constraints. As the way forward, the recommendations from this study must be disseminated and implemented to eliminate the constraints and improve production, quality, marketing, utilization and consumption of locally produced rice and other commodities in Ghana.

 

ADVANCING SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA  – EUROPEAN UNION CO-OPERATION IN RESEARCH AND INNOVATION FOR GLOBAL CHALLENGES (CAAST-Net Plus)

Introduction

Research cooperation between Europe and Sub-Sahara Africa is seen as a driver to addressing global challenges between the two continents, especially for African countries to leverage on the benefits of the European Commission funding framework, H2020.

The project was supposed to have ended in December 2016 but was extended to the end of 2017 to give room for the completion of remaining unexecuted tasks. In the case of CSIR-STEPRI, the outstanding activity was in the Work Package 5 (WP5). The activities of the Work Package 5 are aimed at contributing to the strengthening of research cooperation between Europe and Africa, particularly in the area of addressing global challenges. To that end, the following tasks were earmarked to achieve the goal; training of country focal points, organizing brokerage events and disseminating information on the EC funding framework H2020 as well as analyzing the level of relationships between the two continents.

These institutions played diverse roles to the realization of the objectives of the ‘Work Package 5’; Task number, task title, task leaders and contributors.

  1. a) Task 5.1: Advisory and support mechanisms to Africa European researchers.

Task leader: University of Jyväskylä (JyU), Finland

Contributing partners: CSIR-STEPRI, FORTH, IRD, UNCST, NOTAP, MOHEST, MHESRT,

COHRED, NCST, MESCI

  1. b) Task 5.2: Country Focal Point Training

Task Leader: CSIR-STEPRI

Contributing partners: FORTH, UNCST

  1. c) Task 5.3: Monitoring and Analysis of bi-regional cooperation

Leader : DST

Contributing partners: CSIR-STEPRI, IRD

Objective

The general objective of Work Package 5 is to strengthen Africa-EU research cooperation partnerships. The following were the purposes of the tasks:

Task 5.1 – Advisory and support mechanisms to African and European researchers to increase awareness of the EC funding framework and

Task 5.2 – Training of National Contact Points (NCP) of African countries for increased participation of African Researchers in the H2020 programme.

Activities in 2017

The last two of the training events of the CAAST-Net Plus were held in 2017 in Mauritius, and a regional one in Botswana for countries within the SADC. The WP5 contributed to the penultimate and last CAAST-Net Plus magazines; July 2017 Issue 09 and December 2017 Issue 10 respectively. Content shared included; Building bi-regional partnerships for global challenges, and synthesis of experiences of participants of previous NCP trainings and Information sessions.

Conclusion

Activities of WP 5.1 and WP 5.2 in many cases ran concurrently, due to their commonalities. Per the DOW, milestones of WP 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3 were achieved. Activities of 5.3 were achieved earlier. Effectively, the project has come to an end.

 

IFPRI-STEPRI: AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY INDICATOR SURVEY (ASTI).

Introduction

The Agricultural Science Technology and Indicator (ASTI) is an initiative of International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in collaboration with the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (CSIR-STEPRI). ASTI is widely recognized as an authoritative source of information on the status and direction of agricultural research systems in developing countries. Since its introduction, the study has been a regular activity and Ghana has actively participated in the survey since 2004. ASTI collect time series data on the funding, human resource capacity and outputs of agricultural research in low and middle income countries. The 2017 ASTI survey involved more than forty (40) countries in Africa.

Objectives

  • To provide high-quality, up-to-date datasets on agricultural R&D;
  • To conduct ongoing analysis of its agricultural R&D datasets;
  • To communicate the results of its analysis to promote advocacy and support policy making;
  • To build national and regional capacity for both data collection and data analysis;
  • Provide up-to-date data and information on Agricultural R&D to enable policy makers make informed decision at the national level.

Research Activities

ASTI uses primary surveys to collect both qualitative and quantitative data from government, higher education, nonprofit, and private agricultural R&D agencies. Secondary data are obtained through desk research. The data are analysed to establish trends on agricultural R&D, policy briefs and country based agricultral expenditure fact sheets.

Conclusion

Findings of ASTI surveys inform policy formulation for agriculture research in Ghana. In addition, donor organizations and other key stakeholders rely on ASTI data in making decisions in respect of the agriculture sector in Ghana.

BIOTECHNOLOGY AND BIOSAFETY RAPID ASSESSMENT AND POLICY PLATFORM (BioRAPP)

Introduction

The controversy about the need for acceptance of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in many countries of the world, including Ghana has to do with several factors and one of such is the benefit case. Currently arguments about the benefits of GMOs in the country are always drawn from elsewhere since the products and (therefore) the data do not exist in the country. In view of this, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) through the Program for Biosafety Systems is collaborating with CSIR-STEPRI in conducting an ex ante economic and environmental assessment study, as a way of gathering data on consumer perception of acceptance of the GMOs and their products in the country. This study aims at gathering those relevant data as a first step in guiding research on evidenced based policy decisions on the acceptance of biotechnology and associated genetically modified organisms. This project is a technology focus, country focus with specific operational methodology aimed at solving the envisage challenge of GMOs releases or commercialization in Ghana as well as demonstrating the costs and benefits associated with adoption of improved technologies.

Objective

The main objective of this work is for CSIR-STEPRI to supervise the consultant to produce an ex-ante report on the assessment of the economic and environmental issues surrounding the new technology release onto the market.

Research Activities

An ex-ante economic and environmental assessment study was conducted. A simple and rapid method of data collection and analysis was adopted in this study. Secondary data and technology developers’ data commonly referred to in this study as experts data were collected and appropriate assumptions were drawn to analyze the data using a newly developed tool by IFPRI, Washington called DREAM. It aims at evaluating based on an exante activity data on benefits and costs essentially tied to the release of the technology and therefore its acceptance.

Conclusion

The study is still ongoing and therefore results cannot be communicated now. However, data has been collected and work on analyzing data is progressing steadily.

 

ADDRESSING THE  “MISSING MIDDLE” IN MULTIDIMENSIONAL POVERTY REDUCTION PROGRAMMES

Introduction

Widespread agreement that poverty is a multifaceted phenomenon, encompassing deprivations along multiple dimensions has been rife in the public and policy debate circles in recent times. Researchers argue that, the failure to address poverty and vulnerability in a sustainable manner may be directly related to the continued use of traditional, unidimensional approaches to defining, measuring and addressing poverty. Previous research has focused on poverty profiles without a clear understanding of poverty’s fundamental “causes” known as the “missing middle”. Whiles the problem of the “missing middle” remains, there continues to be a gap between the causes of poverty identified in the poverty profile and the interventions put in place to address them. The overall goal of this study is to answer the important question of why people are poor by examining the factors that determine poverty and subsequently ascertain the complex relationships between the multiple dimensions of poverty. This we hope will provide an adequate linkage between poverty analysis and poverty reduction goals and activities which hitherto has been difficult to establish with poverty profiles and provide a useful feedback for policy review towards improved coherence.

Objectives:

1) Examine the relationships between four dimensions of poverty using a structural equation modeling method and

2) Identify the determinants of multi-dimensional poverty.

3) Provide recommendations for development of policies on poverty reduction.

 Research Activities

An analysis of the poverty profile of Ghana using Ghana Living Standards Survey 6 (GLSS6) was carried out. The survey covered a nationally representative sample of 18,000 households in 1,200 enumeration areas. Of the 18,000 households, data from 16,772 households were used. The full structural equation model (SEM) was used to examine the relationships between four dimensions of poverty and to identify the determinants of multidimensional poverty in Ghana. The four dimensions of poverty determined are namely, Economic Well-Being, Capability, Living Standards and Economic Inclusion.

Findings

The results reveal significant (P <0.001) relationships among the poverty dimensions and finds the number of years spent schooling, per capita consumption, access to electricity and whether one is employed or not as significant determinants of multidimensional poverty in Ghana.

Conclusion and Policy Implications

Preliminary results indicate that the multidimensional approach offers a more comprehensive and more accurate picture of poverty. The policy implications are that, government should take human capital development seriously, create opportunities and an enabling environment in order to provide employment for the unemployed and provide access to basic services e.g., electricity in order to reduce poverty.

 

AFRICA RESEARCH IN SUSTAINABLE INTENSIFICATION FOR THE NEXT GENERARTION (Africa Rising): Phase II

Introduction

Research and development for agricultural productivity is grappling with the growing demand for food. The key challenge is how to increase food production to feed an ever growing, increasingly affluent and urbanised population, while at the same time decreasing the negative environmental impacts of agricultural expansion. Conventional intensification has been found not to be a viable solution, as it depletes environmental and social resources. Radical transformational measures are therefore needed in the agriculture sector. ‘Sustainable intensification’ as a potential approach to trigger the needed transformation, is now being widely promoted in farming systems.

This approach identifies farming and organisational practices that strengthen rural communities, improve smallholder livelihoods and employment, and reduce negative social and cultural impacts. It thus requires farmers to be able to implement and use better agricultural and management practices, to have access to and properly use the right agro-inputs, and have an enabling condition that provide access to capacity building, credit and output market opportunities.

Efforts have been made to disseminate proven sustainable intensification technologies, but adoption has been low and remained patchy. To address this, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is implementing the second phase of Africa RISING project, funded by USAID, under Feed the Future initiative. The first phase of the project in Ghana, generated and validated sustainable intensification technologies such as: Climate-smart (high-yielding, early-maturing, drought and disease tolerant) crop varieties; Good agricultural practices to improve cereal-legume-vegetable cropping; Soil fertility and water management practices; Livestock feeding, housing, health-care and breeding management; Practices for reducing food waste and spoilage. In the second phase, the project seeks to provide pathways out of hunger and poverty for smallholder families through effective upscaling of the validated sustainable intensification technologies.

Objectives

CSIR-STEPRI is collaborating with FOSTERING (an NGO) under the broader component of ‘Markets, Institutions, Policies and Adoption’ of the Africa RISING project. The CSIR-STEPRI component of the project seeks to:

  • Identify gaps sustainable intensification gaps in existing agricultural policies and programmes.
  • Investigate the sustainable intensification practices and farming systems used by farming households, and diagnose the institutional conditions prevalent in agricultural input and output markets in Northern and Upper-West Regions of Ghana).
  • Identify and map out strategic partners engage in agricultural development and agribusiness and investigate their potential for scaling-up the validated sustainable intensification technologies.

Expected Beneficiaries:

Agricultural research and development stakeholders (researchers, NGOs, FBOs, development partners, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, agribusiness companies)

Method of the study

The project’s implementation period spans from June 2017 to March 2018. So far, key informant and personal interviews have been conducted at the national (meso) level for 23 persons involved in agriculture policy planning and programme coordination or implementation. Ten national agricultural-related policy documents (e.g. FASDEP 11, GSGDA 11, Climate Change Policy, Tree Crops Policy) have been profiled and reviewed based on the key themes of sustainable intensification, namely Genetic, Ecological and Socio-economics). Eight (8) on-going agricultural programmes have been reviewed. Twelve (12) agricultural organisations and/or projects (as stakeholders) were identified and content of their project activities have been reviewed to understand their interests in sustainable intensification issues and the extent of their influence to adopt and scale-up Africa RISING proven technologies and practices.

Interviews have also been conducted at the regional and district agricultural office levels to understand how sustainable intensification strategies outlined in national policies and programmes are incorporated into the development planning agendas at these levels. As well as draw insights on how well the sustainable intensification strategies are being implemented and with what challenges. A household survey involving 150 farming household (from 8 communities) was conducted in December 2017 in three districts of Northern Region (Savelugu, Tolon and Kumbungu); and two districts in the Upper West Region (Wa West and Nadowli). A knowledge sharing and validation workshop was held in February to disseminate the findings and seek stakeholders’ views on sustainable intensification gaps in agricultural policies.

Main findings

Preliminary analysis of the data collected suggests that: 1) generally, agricultural policies tend to focus more on the genetic component of SI (e.g. higher yields, improved nutrition, resilience to climate change etc.). All the policies have gaps on socio-economic component of SI. For instance, clear strategies for input and output market access and provision of institutional arrangements for effective functioning of value chains are absent or not explicitly stated in the policy implementation action plans.

 The reviewed agricultural programmes are mostly being implemented by development partners (through international organizations). Each programme addresses a specific component of SI depending on its core objectives. However, few have a tendency of formulating interventions that draw in bits and pieces of all three components of SI at the same time. For example, an agriculture programme could be creating sustainable livelihoods and building human capital, introducing high yielding varieties and teaching farmers to practice conservation agriculture, but could be lacking in creating access to markets.

Analysis of the farm household data indicates that generally, some households are involved in sustainable intensification practices such as use of improved seed varieties, leaf stripping to feed animals, labor-saving equipment for women’s processing, row planting and mixed cropping. However, the district agricultural extension units do not have the needed funding to improve and support the sustainability of these interventions.

Conclusion

The study shows that sustainable intensification is important to generate the needed transformation in farming systems in the study areas. There are however clear gaps and dysfnctionalities in the formulation and implementation of agricultural policies and programmes that have to be addressed. The highlights below present further discussions on the use of a sustainable intensified approach for a modernized agriculture sector that can foster sustainable economic development in Ghana:

  • Not much has been done in relation to mainstreaming sustainable intensification in agricultural policies in Ghana: The Ministry of Food and Agriculture should take this issue up and incorporate strategies of sustainable intensification in policy planning.
  • There is a sustainable land management policy document, but there is a need to merge it with a strategic policy on sustainable intensification for agriculture.
  • Ecological intensification is really missing in the core national agricultural frameworks (FAS DEP 11 and the Ghana Shared Growth Development Agenda documents), and there is the need to address this issue.
  • Socio-economic and genetic intensification comes out clear in most of the policies, but the strategies should be effectively implemented at the district levels for farmers. This calls for government providing the necessary financial and human resources at the district agriculture office.

 CLIMATE IMPACT RESEARCH CAPACITY AND LEADERSHIP ENHANCEMENT IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA PROGRAMME (CIRCLE)

Introduction

The Climate Impact Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement in Sub-Saharan Africa Programme (CIRCLE) is an initiative of the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom (UK) to develop the skills and research output of early career African researchers in the field of climate change and its local impacts on development.

The programme has three main objectives, namely to:

  • strengthen research capacity in Sub-Saharan African research institutions to support early career researchers and develop a coordinated and strategic approach to climate change research;
  • strengthen the capacity of African Researchers to undertake research on climate change and its local impacts development; and
  • strengthen the capacity of the African Academy of Sciences to set and implement research programmes based on credibility commissioning and peer review processes.

Research Activities

As part of its Institutional Strengthening programme and especially the capacity building programme, CSIR-STEPRI nominated three candidates in all the three different cohorts for the Career Visiting Fellowship programme. This training fellowship sought to provide a one year fellowship to support research proposals on the impact of climate change in Africa. Two STEPRI Research staff members benefited from this fellowship programme. One tendered in the fellowship at the University of Cape Town, South Africa and the other at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. CSIR-STEPRI has also had the opportunity of becoming a home institution per the arrangement of the fellowships’ CVF coming from STEPRI. The Institute has also benefited from trainings on institutional strengthening. In 2017, CSIR-STEPRI has a grant from the programme to offer training to young and early career researchers within the CSIR. Two of such programmes were offered to a select group of newly recruited and young technologists from all CSIR institutes in Accra and the University of Ghana, Legon. Two research staff members of STEPRI participated in the champions training workshop held in Kenya.

Conclusion

The institutional strengthening programme of the project has provided two research staff of STEPRI the opportunity to enroll in PhD programmes. It has also enhanced journal paper publication skills of the research staff. It is hoped that the project will be given a second phase.

 

CSIR-STEPRI/ FARA COLLABORATION  IN EXPERT ASSISTANCE for PROGRAMME IMPLEMENTATION

The collaboration with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) is aimed at STEPRI making available expertise for FARA’s implementation of programmes.