The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) with support from Canadian government has through the Modernization of Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) programme organized a partnership session for journalists in the Ashanti Region.
A statement issued by Mr Donald Gwira, Communications Advisor, CSIR/MAG, to Ashantibiz on Saturday, said the meeting highlighted one of the seven strategic thrusts of the council.
These include CSIR rebranding and corporate visibility improvement, which needed the support of the media to disseminate Ghana’s innovative research outputs to stakeholders.
The statement said Dr Edward Yeboah, Ag Director of CSIR-Soil Research Institute, shared CSIR’s strategic plan which has a goal of promoting accelerated national socio-economic development through research and innovation, technology transfer and training in partnership with the media, private and public sectors.
“This Partnership Session that bridges the gap between CSIR and media comes at an opportune time,” Dr Yeboah said, and encouraged journalists to develop interest in science journalism to report accurately Science, Technology, Innovation and related information.
The history of CSIR’s relationship with the media, vision, objectives and significant achievements, the statement said, were shared by Ms Benedicta Nkrumah-Boateng, Head of Corporate Affairs from CSIR Head Office in Accra.
In her presentation on “CSIR and the media, our powerful past, our promising present, our prosperous future,” Ms Nkrumah-Boateng reiterated CSIR’s keen interest in developing stronger relations with the media with the creation of a Media Corps “Ambassadors”.
“The process has started with selected media houses in Accra and following this engagement, “Ambassadors” will be established for the Middle and Northern sectors of Ghana,” she said.
“Together, we will work to educate the public about technologies, innovations and services provided by CSIR,” she added.
She said, “It literally means everybody says it is high yielding, it is good,” adding, it was released in 2003 and has a rough storage root texture.
Its uses and benefits include high gari swelling abilities and it is recommended for Tuo-Zafi, gari flour and starch, according to the Manual of Agriculture Technologies produced by CSIR, MAG and Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
MAG is a budgetary support programme extended to Ghana by Government of Canada to provide resources to support the delivery of agricultural advisory services to subsistence farmers and farmer groups in Ghana.
The ultimate outcome is a more modern, equitable and sustainable agricultural sector that contributes to food security.
Mr Gwira also made in a presentation on understanding the nomenclature of CSIR and shared 101 acronyms commonly used by CSIR.
“This should help journalists overcome the language barrier of understanding the nomenclature used by CSIR and the scientific and technology world,” he said.
He stressed the point about CSIR being addressed as a centre by sections of the public instead of a Council, saying, “This is a sore point for the Council because a Centre connotes a small and insignificant entity.”
CSIR is made up of 13 Research Institutes, eight of which are agriculture-based, a head office and over 50 research centres, units and field stations spread across the country.
These institutes are managed by highly skilled human resource made up of over 400 scientists and senior members and approximately a 3,000 workforce.
Over the years, CSIR has chalked successes in agro-processing, value-addition, environmental management, fish farming among several others.
For instance, CSIR has released not less than 14 varieties carrying different traits to fit all growing niches and preferences, Mr Gwira added, “CSIR maize varieties are being used in more than 15 African countries.”
“These days provide good opportunities for the media and CSIR to write about themes of mutual and global interest.”
The statement also said there was an exhibition stand where institutes displayed their crop varieties, technologies and services offered.
Other topics that were also shared included details about MAG programme presented by Prof Joe Manu-Aduening, a MAG Focal person and United Nations days that are relevant to CSIR and the Institutes.