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:

Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) II Principal Investigator: Dr. (Mrs.) Charity Osei-Amponsah Research Team: Dr. (Mrs.) Wilhelmina Quaye, Dr. Abdulai Adams, Nana Yamoah Asafu-Adjaye, Maame Dokua Akua Agyei Addo

Sponsor: USAID-Feed the Future Initiative, managed by IITA     

Duration: 12 Months Collaborating Institutions: CSIR-STEPRI & IITA

Background

Agricultural Policy Planning has largely not paid attention to the necessity of sustainable intensification for enhanced productivity. The formulation and effective implementation of agricultural growth and food security policy strategies is of critical concern and now high on the development radar. This is particularly so, as there is pressure on agricultural production systems to be sustainable for continuous supply of adequate and nutritious food, in the midst of depleting natural resources.

CSIR-STEPRI’s research component aims at providing pathways out of hunger and poverty for smallholder families through sustainably intensified farming systems that sufficiently improve food, nutrition, and income security, particularly for women and children, and conserve or enhance the natural resource base of Ghana.

Objectives The core objectives of the research project (CSIR-STEPRI’s Component) is to investigate the institutions enabling or constraining access to output and input markets by farm households (particularly youth and women), and delivery pathways of sustainable intensification practices/technologies to leverage and engage with existent initiatives including Government extension systems

Methodology  

The market access research applies a quantitative and qualitative approach based on a multi-case study design of the market dynamics in three northern Regions of Ghana. The cases involve the regional markets, two district markets (one from Africa RISING intervention zone and one from non Africa RISING zone) from each region and two local markets (one from Africa RISING intervention village and one from non-Africa RISING village). In all, three case studies made up of three regional, six district and six local markets will be studied (team members are yet to select the cases). Each of the case studies will involve key informant interviews with staff in charge of marketing/business issues at the MoFA, District Agriculture Office (DAO) and District Assembly. Also, personal interviews and informal meetings will be conducted with agricultural market oriented projects and Africa RISING project assistants, as well as purposively selected market commodity (maize, cowpea, small ruminants) queen mothers/leaders and aggregators in each region. The qualitative data will be analysed through content analysis and the quantitative data through descriptive and econometrics approaches.

For the delivery pathway research, an institutional analysis within the context of sustainable intensification and agricultural development will be used to generate insights on the institutional conditions (e.g. policies, organisational and local norms) that enable or constrain the uptake of Sustainable Intensification (SI) technologies/practices; and existing initiatives or opportunities that support uptake of SI technologies/practices.

Results

The sub-project is at its conceptualisation, literature review and drafting of data collection instruments stage. The core issues gathered from the literature review suggest that government has outlined policy strategies that are geared towards agricultural productivity and market competitiveness for enhanced integration into domestic and global value chains. These strategies have not been achieved because of ineffective implementation of strategies particularly at the district levels. Government and development partners in the agriculture sector are therefore looking for insights on how to reduce the bottlenecks in the agricultural marketing systems and to foster better coordination between actors for effective vertical and horizontal linkages. Most importantly, issues of sustainable intensification are not directly aligned to the formulation of the policy strategies, but there is opportunity for the mainstreaming of SI technologies/practices into agriculture development decision-making.

Long-term European-African Partnership for Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (Leap4FNSSA)

Principal Investigator: Dr. George Owusu Essegbey Research Team: Dr. (Mrs.) Rose Omari, Masahudu Fuseini Sponsor: European Commission                          Duration: 4 years Collaborating Institution: 20 European partners (from 14 countries); 15 African partners (from 8 countries) Location: Ghana, Africa, Europe

Background

LEAP4FNSSA is a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) that aims at establishing a Europe-Africa International Research Consortium (IRC). The IRC will provide a tool for all European and African institutions ready to engage in a sustainable partnership platform for research and innovation on Food and Nutrition Security as well as Sustainable agriculture (FNSSA). Building on previous EU funded related projects – such as ProIA, CAAST-Net Plus, RINEA – and linking with the on-going ERANet Cofund LEAP-Agri project, LEAP4FNSSA will take up the strategic partnership between European Union and African Union another step. Once established, the IRC will be instrumental to the High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on science and technology for innovation in meeting its strategic objectives. It will help to coordinate and prioritise the actions described in the FNSSA Roadmap endorsed by the HLPD.

Objectives

The general objective of LEAP4FNSSA is to establish a sustainable structure, or ‘Platform’, for the efficient and coherent implementation of the AU-EU Research and Innovation Partnership as described in the FNSSA Roadmap.

Three specific objectives are to: • Increase the synergies and coherence between actors, research and innovation projects, initiatives and programmes, through the development of institutional alliances and clusters of projects; • Develop a learning environment and a large knowledge base, including monitoring and evaluation activities, creating communication and links between different initiatives to improve STI cooperation; and • Establish a long-term and sustainable governance and funding mechanism for the Platform.

Methodology

LEAP4FNSSA is being implemented through the following work packages; • WP1: Supporting the Bureau of the AU-EU HLPD in implementing the FNSSA Roadmap; • WP2: Creating strategic alliances of actors committed to align their R&I activities to the FNSSA Roadmap, improving the coherence between the various projects, programmes, and policies, and setting up sustainable joint funding mechanisms; • WP3: Strengthening the knowledge base to increase the efficiency of the AU-EU Research and Innovation Partnership on FNSSA, by developing new instruments for data analysis, supporting existing knowledge networks, and enhancing capacities for data management and communication;

  • WP4: Facilitating within the relevant FNSSA research and innovation networks, the dissemination of information already existing or generated by the CSA project and the partners.

STEPRI is co-leading the WP2 with DLR, Germany. WP2 will improve the effectiveness of the AUEU FNSSA Partnership by contributing to the creation of strategic FNSSA Alliances in R&I, as part of the envisaged multi-actor Platform based on the HLPD FNSSA Roadmap of 2016 to jointly plan and implement research. The aim of this strategy will be to improve coordination and launch collaborative actions in particular, set up support mechanisms (including funding mechanism) for fostering the proposed FNSSA Platform to which the design and testing of an Africa-Europe Knowledge Management and Communication Framework (KMCF) is key.

Results Project kick-off meeting will be held in Accra from 30th January to 1st February 2019 where most of the consortium members will be present. The 1st steering committee meeting will also be held after the kick-off meeting with the main aim of spelling out and understanding the role of each partner, the grant agreement and how to work together to collectively achieve the objectives of the project.

Conclusion

By mid-March 2019 all WP2 partners had finalised their work plans and shared with all members. STEPRI as a co-leader for WP2 is working with DLR to develop reporting templates for all partners.

Digitalisation in Agriculture, Food and Nutrition

Principal Investigator: Dr. (Mrs.) Rose Omari Research Team: Dr. Godfred Kwesi Frempong, Dr. Richard Ampadu-Ameyaw, Dr. Emmanuel Kodjo Tetteh, Dr. Adams Abdulai and Ransford Teng-viel Karbo Sponsor: German Government through ZEF Duration: 2 years Collaborating Institution: KALRO (Kenya), Nigeria, and ZEF (Bonn, Germany), FARA Location: Ghana, Nationwide

Background

The rapid spread of mobile phones and networks in rural Africa has stimulated the development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-based initiatives in the agriculture sector in most African countries. Much of the focus to date has been on offering services, such as information, marketing and financial transactions, to farmers via their mobile phone. Most of these initiatives still depend on external financial support, remain small, often duplicate and have limited impact. Other promising applications of ICTs, such as big data gathering and analytics, social networks, robotics, the internet of things or remote sensing, are increasingly attracting attention, but have not yet been widely applied. Thus, the significant potential of ICTs to improve productivity and market integration in Africa has not yet been realized.

Objectives

PARI research will identify opportunities for better integrating existing initiatives, with a focus on using ICTs to build the technical and commercial capacities of producer organisations to serve as competent intermediaries between the millions of dispersed smallholders and other value chain actors. Research will also look into options for strengthening the enabling environment for providers of agricultural ICT solutions to develop and commercialise their applications, in particular those that leverage more advanced ICTs to transform the agriculture sectors in Africa.

 Methodology

The study is in two parts (1) stocktaking study which will focus on state of the infrastructure / hardware, ICT innovation environment and status of ICT4Ag services. This will be followed by a case study to provide detailed analysis of selected ICT4Ag services. The overarching research question is “What is the potential for ICT4Ag services to improve the functioning of input, output and financial markets?” A combination of approaches is being used to gather data. These are desk study, analysis of secondary data (e.g. from statistics offices, internet, companies etc.)

Results

The project kick-off meeting took place in Bonn, Germany in November 2018. Desk research has been done to identify all available ITC4Ag services and relevant information has been gathered on them. An ICT end-user survey has been completed and data being analysed. Data has been gathered from organisation and are being analyzed.

Conclusion

The reports for the Stock-taking study are expected to be completed by end of February 2019 and the case studies by May 2019. In September 2019, the team shall organise a side event at the Alliance for Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) to present and discuss the results and the way forward.

Does Addressing Gender Inequalities and Empowering Women Improve Development Programme Outcomes under Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP).                          

Principal Investigator: Dr. (Mrs.) Wilhelmina Quaye,  Research Team: Dr. Paul Boadu, Dr. (Mrs.) Adelaide Agyeman, Mrs. Mavis Akuffobea-Essilfie and Nana Yamoah Asafu-Adjaye Sponsors: DfID and IDRC Duration: 2 years Participating Countries: Togo, Botswana, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Ethiopia

Background

The project seeks to use the Community Based Monitoring System (CBMS) developed under the Policy for Economic Partnership (PEP) 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 institutionalised system for monitoring the various dimensions of poverty, develop a database useful for local governance and prioritisation of interventions at the local level. The study is being conducted in selected communities in Atebubu-Amantin Municipal where the Cassava: Adding Value for Africa (C:AVA) project has been implemented. Poverty profiles and poverty maps for the study sites are generated for planning and local policy development process.

As part of the CBMS Methodological approach, a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Report will be generated to localise the SDGs for effective targeting of tailored interventions. The CBMS methodology helps in building local capacity in contextualised analysis and assist in local planning for innovative solutions and interventions.

Objectives:

 (i)   Implement a Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) to monitor the different dimensions       of poverty;

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

(iii)   Investigate barriers to women empowerment in the study communities (using women participation        in C:AVA project  and other interventions; and

(iv)  Recommend options for improving gender focused projects outcomes.

Results

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 2 members of the project team. This was held in Manila, Philippines; November 20-24, 2017; • Development of CBMS Design Paper; • Validation and Uptake Workshop at Atebubu-Amantin Municipal; • National symposium on the research findings in Accra.

Highlights of activities during the year are as follows:

Field Survey by Research Team The survey took the form of census. In each of the building/house in the study locations, the number of households was identified to respond to questions regarding the household and the individuals within it, after given their consent. The household head or any person knowledgeable enough to provide information about the household and members responded to the questionnaire. The surveys were assisted by Assembly men, teachers and national services personnel recruited and trained (3 days training) from the study communities. The survey was implemented from February to March 2018.  In all, a data on a total of 2716 households in 20 communities in the study locations were collected.

Presentation at the 16th GLOBELICS Conference The research team prepared and presented a paper on “Localising the SDGs in the Atebubu District in Ghana for inclusive Innovation Development”. Contributing to the debate on inclusive innovation, the team shared experiences from Ghana in using Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) methodology to generate data on the existing capacities, poverty dimensions and resources at the local level for bottom-up planning that seeks to create opportunities for economic growth. Preparation of Info-note on Research Findings for Uptake The team prepared an Info Note on research findings for dissemination. Basically, the info-note covers results on the SDG Indicators on Education, Health, Sanitation, Housing, and Poverty status of the communities in the Municipal, among others.

Preparation towards Validation and Uptake Workshop at Atebubu-Amantin Municipal The research team sent invitation to participants for the validation and uptake workshop. Validation and Uptake Workshop at Atebubu-Amantin Municipal. The team held a validation and uptake workshop at Atebubu-Amantin Municipal Assembly on the 16th of November 2018. Participants were the Municipal Assembly, Assembly men and women, Unit committee members, Traditional Council Representatives, as well as enumerators involved in the survey. Two presentations were delivered on the day.

National symposium on the research findings in Accra A National symposium workshop was held in Accra (CSIR-STERPI main Auditorium) on the 14th December 2018. Participants were representatives from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs ) ( Office of the President), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Media and Private Organizations.

Conclusion

The Community Based Monitoring System for tracking the progress of developmental interventions and findings from the localization of the SDGs in the Atebubu study area have been widely disseminated to stakeholders at the district and national levels for planning and decision-making purposes. Going forward a Study Visit will be held in Manila, Philippines on March 11-15, 2019.

Biotechnology and Biosafety Rapid Assessment and Policy Platform (BioRAPP)

Principal Investigator: Dr. George Owusu Essegbey Research Team: Dr. Richard Ampadu-Ameyaw and Dr. Paul Boadu

Sponsor: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Duration: 2 years

Background

The need for the introduction of bio-engineered crops and for that matter food product into our food chains and food systems as mechanisms to support, among others, food security interest of nationals including Ghana is becoming paramount. Unfortunately, while this technology promises food consumers of abundant benefits, some sections of the society are resisting the move. At the same time local data to counteract arguments of the anti GMO products in the country is absent compelling scientists to use foreign data evidence in their arguments. In view of this, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) through the Program for Biosafety Systems in Ghana, under the Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Institute of the Ghana, Atomic Energy Commission, collaborated with CSIR-Science and Technology Institute (STEPRI) to conduct an ex-ante economic and environmental assessment study, to gather data on consumer perception of acceptance of the GMOs and their products in the country.

Objectives

Generally, the biotechnology and biosafety rapid assessment and policy platform project aims at assessing objective data based on an ex-ante analysis of production data on two main crops, cowpea and rice cultivated in Ghana as an indicator of consumer preference between the bio-engineered crops (bt. Cowpea and Nitrogen Utilization Efficiency Rice) both of which are currently in the confined field trials and the non-bioengineered crops. In this project, the CSIR-Science and Technology Policy Research Institute was to supervise the consultant employed by the Institute to produce an ex-ante report on the assessment of the economic and environmental issues surrounding the new technology’s release onto the market.

Methodology

The simple and rapid assessment method of data collection and analysis was used 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 analyse the data using a newly developed tool by IFPRI, Washington called DREAM. It aims at evaluating based on an ex-ante activity data on benefits and costs essentially tied to the release of the technology and therefore its acceptance.

Results

The data for the study has been collected and work in terms of analysis has come to an end. In effect, the main study has come to an end with the report published online on the IFPRI website. What the Institute has sought to do in recent times is to share the information gathered to stakeholders in the industry. A detailed report on the findings is available and infographics has also been developed for dissemination and sharing of information of the study.  Results show that any delay in introducing the technology to farmers could costs the country of not less than 2000million Ghana Cedis for the Rice and 152 million Ghana Cedis for the cowpea per 5 years. Introducing the cowpea technology to the market is likely to bring about 230 million Ghana Cedis cumulative over 6 years if commercialised in 2019, while the Rice will bring a saving of about 334million Ghana Cedis on rice imports to the country.

Conclusion

The dissemination work is still ongoing till end of 2019. Generally, the results show that the technology holds a lot of good promises for consumers and producers no matter their positions as pessimists or optimists. It is therefore concluded that Ghana government should double its steps in all forms to ensure that the technology does not only see the light of day but gets into the hands of our small scale farmers as soon as practicable.

Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Research and Learning in Africa (SAIRLA) Principal investigator: Dr. Victor Attuquaye Clottey Research Team: Dr. George Owusu Essegbey, Dr. Naaminong Karbo, Solomon Duah, Dr. (Mrs.) Wilhelmina Quaye and Mrs. Mavis Akuffobea-Essilfie Sponsor: DfID                                 Duration: 3 years

Introduction

Increases in agricultural production and productivity are needed to provide the world’s growing population with sufficient and nutritious food, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. In view of this, the concept of Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (SAI) has emerged with the generally accepted aim of increasing agricultural productivity while maintaining or improving environmental sustainability. Against this backdrop, the Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Research and Learning in Africa (SAIRLA) programme was initiated in 2015 and expected to end in 2020. The SAIRLA programme was planned to commission research and facilitates learning to understand different ways of achieving Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (SAI). It is being implemented in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia and in each of these countries there are SAIRLA National Learning Alliance (NLA) and research projects working together to achieve the objectives of the SAIRLA programme.

Objective

The project aims to influence sustainable agricultural intensification (SAI) policies and their related programmes to benefit smallholder agricultural value chain actors, particularly women and youth.

Results Activities carried out in 2018 include:

  • organisation of a working meeting for the filling of Monitoring Journals
  • (ii) organisation of stakeholder dialogue and social learning field visit around the subject of excessive use of chemicals,
  • (iii) Reconnaissance visit to Sege Ada, Greater Accra Region of Ghana on Gender and Climate Smart Agriculture Investments,
  • (iv) Policy Symposium on Gender and Climate Smart Agriculture and
  • (v) Policy Symposium on Alternative Protein Sources for Agriculture Feeds. Some of the activities have been detailed below.

Filling of Monitoring Journals

The main activities at the workshop included filling of the monitoring journal by each stakeholder group, presentations, and discussions. Each stakeholder group was tasked to provide answers to guiding questions. The guiding questions sought to assess the level of use of knowledge acquired from participation in events organised by GH-NLA including policy symposia, capacity needs assessment and outcome mapping workshops. Each stakeholder group made presentation on the learning trends and the influence of the lessons applied in other projects in their monitoring journals. Overall, the workshop was participatory and informative with all partners (Boundary and Strategic) entreated to be committed to the learning alliance course. Reconnaissance visit to Sege Ada, Greater Accra Region of Ghana on Gender and Climate Smart Agriculture Investments The impact of climate change causes threat to Ghana’s socio-economic development and food security, particularly for majority of the population whose livelihoods depend on agriculture and livestock. Wide spread adoption of CSA can however create sustainable landscape and build momentum towards climate-smart food system. It is therefore important to develop CSA technologies to increase productivity, adapt to, and mitigate the effects of climate change, and ensure national food security. As part of the activities of the SAIRLA Ghana National Learning Alliance (GH-NLA) in achieving equity and inclusive sustainable agriculture, the facilitating team made a reconnaissance visit to Sege in Ada

Ghana NLA members and facilitating team deliberating to fill the monitoring journal at CSIR-STEPRI.

Stakeholder dialogue and social learning field visit around the subject of excessive use of chemicals The Ghana National Learning Alliance (GH-NLA) under the SAIRLA Programme organized a two-day stakeholder dialogue and social learning field visit around the subject of excessive use of chemicals on 10th and 11th May 2018. The stakeholder dialogue took place at Science and Technology Policy Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-STEPRI). This was followed by a field visit to Aviation Farmers Sites close to ‘Ritz Junction-Ashale Botwe road’ in Accra.  Both the stakeholder dialogue and social learning field aimed at providing the opportunity for key actors in the policy space, researchers, private sector investors and media practitioners to engage with each other and with farmers directly on the field to have a first-hand appreciation of the phenomenon and the potential dangers it poses to humans, agriculture and the environment in the Greater Accra region of Ghana to interact with local stakeholders on gender and climate smart agriculture investments options on Thursday, 31st May 2018.

The main activities during the reconnaissance visit included interactions with officials of the Ada West District Assembly, farmers associations and other related stakeholders. The interactions took the form of presentations, group work and discussions. Following the visit at Ada West District Assembly, the team members met to debrief and wrap up with the interactions and information received from the District Assembly as well as from the farmers.

Conclusion

The SAIRLA Project has generated research evidence for effective policy engagement and farmer education on safe use of pesticides in the treatment of Fall Army Worm (FAW). A Policy brief on gender responsive investment in Climate Smart Agriculture has been developed for further engagement with SAI actors. An info note on Resistance and Management in Pesticide Use developed by GH-NLA has been widely disseminated. 

Developing a National Policy and Technical Regulation for Aflatoxin Control in Food and Feed

Principal investigator: Dr. (Mrs.) Rose Omari Research Team: Dr. Emmanuel Kodjo Tetteh, Ms. Afua Bonsu Sarpong-Anane, Ransford Teng-viel Karbo, Ibrahim Kwame Asante

Sponsor: AGRA    Duration: 3 years 

Introduction

Aflatoxins are naturally occurring harmful toxins produced by the fungi Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Aflatoxin contamination is widespread throughout Africa and is commonly found in staple foods such as maize, groundnuts, millet and sorghum as well as animal products including meat, eggs, poultry, and milk. Humans and animals are exposed to aflatoxin through consumption of contaminated foods and feed, inhalation and from mother to child through placenta or breastmilk. Exposure to very high levels of aflatoxin results in acute health effects such as aflatoxicosis, which can cause death in severe cases. Chronic exposure to low levels of aflatoxin can result in health problems such as immunosuppression, delayed recovery from kwashiorkor, impairment of liver function, liver cancer and stunting. About 30% of all liver cancers are known to be due to aflatoxins. Aflatoxins also pose a barrier to trade due to the rejection of contaminated products by local industries and exporting countries.

Due to the detrimental effects of aflatoxins on food and nutrition security, health and the economy, the African Union Commission has prioritized aflatoxins as a major food safety problem and has therefore established the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control (PACA) to help address the problem on the continent. With the help of PACA, ECOWAS developed its action plan for aflatoxin control, which was adopted by Ministers of Agriculture in 2015. ECOWAS Member states are accordingly required to adapt this action plan to their specific contexts and ensure its mainstreaming into existing policies and programmes. It is in this vein that a grant was sought from AGRA to develop this national policy that will spell out an action plan together with a technical regulation that will ensure adequate enforcement of aflatoxins standards.

Objective

The goal is to catalyse and sustain an inclusive agricultural transformation by reducing the prevalence and level of aflatoxin contamination in food and feed for smallholder farmers. The objective is to strengthen government multi-sectoral coordination, and mutual accountability in the agricultural sector.

Methodology

 Methodological approach and project implementation activities are listed as follows:

  • The first proposed activity is to establish a National Aflatoxin Steering Committee (NASC) to spearhead issues related to aflatoxin and its management in Ghana. This will entail identifying key stakeholders, defining their terms of reference and inaugurating the NASC; • A situation analysis study will be commissioned to help understand the aflatoxin situation including extent of contamination, degree of health, nutrition and economic effects as well as research capacity, mitigation measures, policies, standards, regulations, challenges and opportunities. The situation analysis report will be discussed at a stakeholder workshop and will guide the development of the National Policy for Aflatoxin Control (NPAC) with the support of a resource person and the NASC;
  • To facilitate the implementation of the Policy, an implementation and resource mobilization plan as well as Codes of practices for aflatoxin control in maize value chain and Technical Regulation will be developed;
  • Separate stakeholder consultation workshops will be held to discuss the National Policy for Aflatoxin Control, and Resource Mobilization plan. The two documents will be finalized based on inputs received from the stakeholder consultation and validation workshops after which they will be launched at a ceremony;
  • The draft Technical Regulation will then be shared with the Attorney General’s (AG’s) Department for review followed by another review based on inputs from AG’s department. The TR will also be submitted the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture for review. It will then be finalized and resubmitted to the AG’s Department for review;
  • A series of sensitization, advocacy and dissemination workshops will be held for different audiences including relevant ministries, agencies, parliament, judiciary, media, development partners, and civil society, to inform and sensitize them about the National Policy for Aflatoxin Control and resource mobilization plan; and
  • To facilitate the implementation of the National Policy for Aflatoxin Control and Technical Regulation, at least two bankable project proposals will be developed for submission to potential donors for funding.

Conclusion

Efforts towards developing a National Policy and Technical Regulation for Aflatoxin Control in Food and Feed commenced in the last quarter of 2018. So far a National Aflatoxin Steering Committee (NASC) has been established to spearhead issues related to aflatoxin and its management in Ghana. A situational analysis study will be conducted to help understand the aflatoxin situation including extent of contamination, degree of health, nutrition and economic effects among others.

 

Operationalisation of the Green Economy (GE) Transition in Africa Project

Principal Investigator: Dr. (Mrs.) Wilhelmina Quaye Research team: Roland Asare and Stephen Awuni Sponsor: UNEP/EPA-Ghana

Introduction

The objective of operationalising the Green Economy (GE) transition in Africa project was to complement national efforts to translate GE strategies from the national to the sub national (District) level. To achieve this objective, the project was piloted in three districts: Tolon Distict (TDA), Kumasi Metropolitan (KMA) & Tema Metropolitan (TMA).

The Process involved the:

  • adoption of UNEP GE Tool box • adoption of the step by step guide • development of IGEIP for the 3 piloted districts based on the step by step guide.
  • aligning the IGEIP to NDPC district planning guidelines to ensure uniformity and consistency

Results

The main deliverable that was left to be achieved in 2018 was to replicate the process in other districts following the successful mainstreaming of the step by step guide into NDPC planning guidelines which has been used in the preparation of MMDAs Medium Term Development Plans (2018-2021). The need to replicate the GE achievements in other districts has called for the development of a national GE replication strategy based on the lessons learnt and best practices from the pilots. Work done in 2018 included

  • Development of GE Replication Strategy,
  • (ii) Development of lessons learnt and best practices from the pilot districts, and
  • (iii) National Stakeholder Validation workshop held on the GE Replication Strategy.

Conclusion

This project created the needed awareness and provided the framework for mainstreaming Green Economy issues in the medium-term development plans of the MMDAs in Ghana. This development was based on the available human and natural resources in the respective districts.  It is expected that the implementation of the replication strategy will lead to a Greener Economy for Ghana and also contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the year 2030.

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 Project 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.

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 Multidimentional 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 Generation (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.