The West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) initiated by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member countries is part of the implementation of the agricultural sector of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and aims to support regional cooperation in agriculture in West Africa in accordance with the action plans for managers in the agricultural policy of ECOWAS and NEPAD. It receives financial support from the World Bank and a sub-regional coordination provided by the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development in Africa (WECARD/CORAF). The program which started as WAAPP-1A in 2008 and continued as WAAPP-2A in 2013 aims to contribute to sustainable increases in agricultural productivity in national and regional priority sectors that are more likely to increase the agricultural growth rate for the participating countries and provide support to regional integration as an instrument to promoting shared growth. These supports have a developmental goal to intensify generation, dissemination and adoption of improved technologies in the agricultural priority commodities of the participating countries. For Ghana the priority crops are the root and tuber crops – Cassava, Yam, Cocoyam and Sweet potato
The CSIR – Crops Research Institute, NCoS have 3 main mandates that ensures the strengthening of regional cooperation in the generation of technologies; scaling up dissemination and developing collaborative mechanisms for increased root and tuber crops productivity in the sub region.
The first mandate is to develop Research Programs that aligns with National and Regional priorities. A total of about 64 activities that supports the development of Roots, Tuber and Vegetable crops which will ensure a 15% increase over current yields is currently being done. These activities are designed so has to support promotion, dissemination and regional integration.
The second mandate is to support dissemination of improved varieties and technologies. Planned activities that supports accelerated dissemination under component 3 are designed to enhance the efficiency of seed system. These involves cleaning and/or virus indexing, multiplication and conservation of all the root and tuber crops developed. This ensures a continuous supply of clean, healthy planting material as pre basic seeds for the breeders for subsequent production of breeder seeds or planting material.
The third function as a National Centre of Specialization is to move towards becoming a Regional Centre of Excellence. This involves the re-structuring of the Centre to include NATIONAL INSTITUTIONS with COMMON interest in NATIONAL and REGIONAL VOCATION and share responsibilities in the area of RESEARCH, INNOVATION, and AGRICULTURAL TRAINING AND APPRENTICESHIP. Nine criteria have been adopted for evaluation and key activities undertaken towards becoming a Regional Centre of Excellence include the following: sensitizing staff on evaluation criteria, developing a road map, improving capacity and skills of Scientists and Technicians to reach international standards, developing training modules and working towards the attainment of an ISO certification for the Centre’s management (ISO 9001) and for the detection of Africa Cassava Mosaic Virus (ISO17025).
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- IITA, Nigeria
- INEA, The Pacific
- CSIR –PGRRI, SRI, FRI, ARI, - GHANA
- GIDA, GHANA
- MOFA, GHANA
- NRCRI, UMUDIKE-Nigeria
- CNRA, COTE D’IVOIRE
- INERA, BURKINA FASO
- NARS - MALI, BENIN, SENEGAL, Sierra Leone