TWENTY-SEVEN agricultural research station managers from six African countries have begun a two-week international capacity building workshop at the Crops Research Institute (CRI) at Fumesua, near Kumasi.
The countries include Ghana, Ethiopia, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria.
The workshop focused on issues like understanding agricultural research needs, communication with administration and researchers, programming and prioritisation of station work, and record keeping on the station, among others.
One of the most expensive investments undertaken by governments and international donors in agriculture has been agricultural research.
The investments are to ensure the availability of food and fibre or in general food security.
While some of the researches have yielded dividends, others have been a waste of money, time and energy.
Sometimes, funds devoted for research are not effectively utilised and the problem has been attributed to a number of factors, including the lack of capacity of research station managers.
It is against this backdrop that the workshop was organised to equip the station managers with the requisite knowledge to address the lapses in the system.
Agricon International, a Canadian consulting and capacity building company, organised the workshop with sponsorship from the Generation Challenge Programme (GCP), a global crop research consortium, and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of Ghana.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Director of CSIR-CRI, Dr Hans Adu-Dapaah, called for improved funding to enable the institute to carry out its mandate of ensuring availability of food and fibre.
He said as a result of inadequate funding, training of research managers had been virtually absent.
Dr Adu-Dapaah stated that the work of the station manager to the overall development of agriculture was very important and, therefore, expressed the hope that the workshop would help improve matters.
Dr Hannibal Muthar, GCP Consultant, stated that sustainable food security would not happen in a country where good agricultural research was absent.
He said effective research, administration and support services made a research station better in delivery.
Dr Muthar urged the participants to take the training programme seriously to better the development of agriculture in their respective countries.