Project Objective
The project objective is to generate and disseminate improved technologies in Ghana’s top priority areas that are aligned with the region’s top priorities as identified by WECARD/CORAF. The project first phase is to set up a framework in sharing technology, establishing a national center of specialization, fund demand-driven technology generation and adoption and effective management monitoring and evaluation of the project..

Component one focuses on creating enabling conditions for Regional Cooperation in technology generation and dissemination (roots and tubers for Ghana). This component aims at strengthening the mechanisms and procedures for the dissemination of technology. To achieve this aim, activities for the realization of the objective of this component were carried out during the period under review.

Tremendous efforts are being made to harmonize regional procedures and regulation in the registration and dissemination of technology (genetic materials, pesticides and other crops protection products) to ease cross-border transfer and adoption of technologies.

The specific objectives of this component for the period under review are:

i.    To promote e-Extension as an alternative extension delivery methodology by using the mobile phone and internet facility to disseminate information on proven technologies and  also improve agricultural information outreach to very remote farmers.
ii.    To encourage the adoption of improved technologies under root and tuber crops
iii.    Prepare draft bio-efficacy protocols for crops found in the humid region of ECOWAS
iv.    Carry out environmental monitoring of the field activities of WAAPP
v.    Establish a registration system/desk for the registration of released and existing crop varieties
vi.    Establishing common procedures for the release and registration of crop varieties.
vii.    Conduct a study on Intellectual Property Rights

Component two is to setup a National Centre of Specialization (NCOS). The aim is to strengthen the alignment of national priorities with regional priorities within the participating countries national agricultural research systems (NARS).

The objective is to create a centre of specialization in each participating country, upgrade core infrastructural facilities and equipment at the centre, build the capacity of researchers and support the centre’s research and development programme. Read more
The CSIR-Crops Research Institute (CSIR-CRI) in Kumasi is the designated National Centre of Specialization (NCOS), and the top priority commodities are the root and tuber crops, specifically, cassava, yam, sweet potato and cocoyam. The NCOS at CRI is well staffed with about 30 research scientists in various specialties

The specific objectives for the period under review include;

i.    Ensure the full benefits from the spill-over of generated improved technologies among participating countries in the West African region in the spirit of regional cooperation and integration through exchange and visiting scientists programme.
ii.    Develop and disseminate appropriate technologies for farmers and other end-users
iii.    Develop suitable cassava, yam sweet potato and cocoyam varieties preferred by farmers and other stakeholders
iv.    Develop in-vitro production guide lines for rapid multiplication of clean planting materials and to optimize in-vitro production processes for the various varieties of local root and tuber crops 
v.    Improve farmers’ access to a diversity of high yielding, disease resistant root and tuber clones appropriate to their needs and other end-users
vi.    Employment of botanical products to control plant parasitic nematodes in yam production to protect the environment and man”. 
vii.    Assess the economic importance and environmental implications of technologies being developed
viii.    Create a genetic database that will serve as a source of information for the development of DNA markers with specific traits for easy germplasm characterization improvement.
ix.    Provide genomic gene map of selected mandate root crops

Component three is funding of demand-driven technology generation and adoption. The objective of the component is to create an avenue for the identification and prioritization of constraints to agricultural development, and to strengthen a transparent funding mechanism for research to address the constraints at regional level. Furthermore, the component will support the transfer of on-the-self agricultural technologies with quick potential impact. This will give market volume and value to produce to earn increased incomes. Cross-sectoral research (eg., sustainable land management) is clearly important, but such research must ultimately focus on the region’s top priority commodity sub-sectors, which contribute directly to the region’s agricultural growth. Within these parameters, eligible activities will cover all key constraints along the supply chain of these commodity sub-sectors.

The component will also support a competitive agricultural grant system (CARGS) and a limited (non-competitive) core funding with strong buy-in from major stakeholders. The CARGS provides an effective mechanism to involve key stakeholders (particularly producers and agribusinesses) in targeted adaptive research. As indicated earlier, non-competitive research funding is also needed to ensure that no key constraint is overlooked in the competitive process. In such cases, however, it behooves on the researchers to clearly identify the need of such researches to major stakeholders to get their buy-in.

Component four is project coordination, management, monitoring and evaluation. The aim is to establish an effective coordination, management and M&E system at the national and regional levels. The financial management arrangements meets the IDA’s requirements and are thus adequate to provide, with reasonable assurance, accurate and timely information on the status of the project required by IDA.

This component will also strengthen the participating counties’:
•    M&E systems to access agricultural productivity and competitiveness in the region’s top priority areas and reporting on project activities.
•    Financial management and procurement systems
•    Development of a national communication strategy.