The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s Crops Research Institute (CSIR-CRI) has solidified agreements with a private sector cassava extension agency to enhance the agronomy and utilization of cassava, a vital food crop. Dr. Maxwell Darko Asante, Deputy Director of CSIR-CRI, expressed the significance of harnessing the potential of cassava and emphasized the crucial role of private sector involvement in achieving this goal.
During the signing ceremony held between CSIR-CRI and the Ghana Cassava Center of Excellence (GCCE) in Fumesua, Ejisu Municipality, Dr. Asante assured that the research institute would provide the necessary human resources and technologies to increase cassava production and utilization in the country. He expressed hope that this collaboration would have a positive and sustainable impact on cassava production nationwide, while also appealing for stronger partnerships to expand and deepen research activities conducted by CSIR-CRI.
Dr. Asante emphasized that research played a vital role in ensuring the quality and improvement of end products. He reaffirmed CSIR-CRI’s commitment to continuously investigate and develop new crop varieties that address the needs of the population.
Mr. William Agyei-Manu, Executive Director of the Ghana Cassava Center of Excellence (GCCE), expressed optimism about formalizing the relationship with the research institution. He believed that this partnership would position GCCE as one of CSIR-CRI’s private sector wings and enable effective extension drives. Mr. Agyei-Manu also highlighted the collaboration’s potential to support the government’s agenda of exporting cassava starch.
“To promote private sector investment in line with the government’s starch export agenda, we need cassava varieties with high starch content that reduce production and processing costs. This collaboration will help us achieve that,” Mr. Agyei-Manu remarked. He further explained that GCCE would incorporate the Circular Economy and Environmental Policy, aiming to promote green skills within the cassava industry. The policy would explore alternative uses of cassava as livestock feed, the generation of crude starch from cassava waste, and the utilization of cassava waste in mushroom processing.
Mr. Agyei-Manu emphasized that these circular economy processes were relatively unknown and would benefit from increased exposure and implementation. The collaboration between CSIR-CRI and GCCE is expected to drive advancements in cassava research, production, and utilization, contributing to the growth and sustainability of Ghana’s cassava industry.