The Scientific Support Services Division is one of the divisions of the CSIR-Crops Research Institute. It is made up of a multi-disciplinary team captured in the various sections. The division supports research through coordination and management of information and data systems and communicating research results to end users. The division is divided into six (6) sections/units.
The library supports the research programmes of the Institute through the provision of information. It also manages Information (Evaluation of contents and dissemination of research results). Other library services the unit provides include:
• Printing, scanning, photocopying, typesetting and binding of documents on commercial basis
• Training of library users in electronic information access and management tools
• The Library has in stock over 5000 textbooks, journals, newsletters, annual reports from partner organizations, staff theses (on all academic levels i.e. University Diploma, Bachelor, MSc, /MPhil/MA, PhD) available for students to have access. The library also has The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library (TEEAL). TEEAL is an offline digital library of research in the agricultural and related sciences where users can search and browse to access the full-text articles from over 425 journals, as well as research from the Gates Foundation, AGRA and ATA.
• In addition, the Institute’s Digital repository is available for users to have access to peer review full-text articles from the Institute’s renowned research scientists. The articles are also available in print format.
• The Library subscribes to over 25 agricultural and other science related databases/journals such as Research4life where users have access to full text.
The biometrics section has a strong team of well-experienced biometricians who help the Institute to carry out efficient research activities.
• The section leads the statistical analytic contributions of the research projects by providing expert advice from the onset of the project and ensuring that studies follow the appropriate statistical techniques.
• It also develops appropriate statistical designs (statistical methods) based on the nature of the data to be collected and also designs field layouts for research trials.
• The section selects appropriate softwares and occasionally writes computer programs to retrieve and analyze unconventional datasets that follow an emerging distribution and also help in interpreting the results of studies.
• Statistical techniques for agricultural research are also the unit’s responsibility.
• Staff at the biometrics section mentor and train staff on statistical analysis and interpretations and also provide consultancy services on the application of statistics/mathematics to research’ for students and scientists
Training, Communication and Publication Unit (TCPU)
The Training, Communication and Publication Unit (TCPU) promotes improved technologies through the development and publication of training materials for increased crop productivity. The unit has two (2) fully air-conditioned conference centres with audio-visual equipment, projectors and flip charts etc. It is an ideal venue for business meetings, residential conferences, presentations, workshops, seminars, book launch etc.
The Unit is responsible for:
• Coordinating training programmes, meetings, seminars, conferences as well as the hiring and maintenance of the conference rooms.
• The unit further coordinates with the Public Relations (PR) unit to represent the Institute at fairs, workshops, Farmers Day Celebrations and other agricultural related exhibitions.
• Assisting other scientists in technology transfer activities
• Assisting other scientists in Technology Transfer Activities
• Liaising constantly with other scientists to capture (videos & still pictures) important field activities/events
• Liaising with other scientists to develop or review existing training manuals, production guides, fact sheets, flyers etc.
• Conducting field research and publishing in refereed journals papers.
• Commercializing research activities for internal revenue generation
• Mass media awareness creation on available technologies at the Institute especially on rapid multiplication of plantain/banana
• Training of Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) on new technologies and the establishment of Innovation Platforms (IPs).
• Trained Scientists, technicians and other users in electronic information access and management tools
Public Relation Unit
The Public Relations office is headed by the Institute’s Public Relations Officer and is primarily responsible for improving the Institute’s visibility by coordinating media activities of the Institute.
• The unit is the official mouthpiece of the Institute and engages the public on any issues of national interest.
• The unit is also responsible for arranging radio and television programmes for scientists of the institute to educate farmers and other stakeholders on current research activities.
• The unit leads in the organization of programmes such as “Open Days”, “Renaissance Days” and seminars and also represents the Institute at exhibitions, fairs etc.
Scientific Secretary’s Office
The core duties of the Scientific Secretary’s Office are communication, information management and documentation. The office is also responsible for compiling and publishing quarterly and annual statutory reports, and organises scientific meetings such as the annual In-house Review and Research Planning (IRREP) and field visits and monitoring. Assessing, processing and packaging promotion documents for senior members are also the responsibility of the scientific secretary’s office. The office manages all the social media platforms of the Institute and generates content for its website
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
The services the unit provides includes but not limited to the following:
• Hardware and software support services.
• Liaising with the Institute’s internet service provider (ISP) to provide good internet services and also maintain the Institute’s Local Area Network both wireless and cable.
• Liaising with the Institute’s web hosting company to maintain the domain name and website hosting and also updates the Institute’s website information regularly.
• The unit also collaborate with the Scientific Secretaries Office to manage the Institute’s social media platforms
• Downloading and analyzing data from the clocking machine for management is also part of the unit’s responsibility.
• The unit maintains and downloads weather data from the weather station and makes them available for staff.
• The unit further provides support services during business meetings, residential conferences, presentations, workshops and seminars by setting up the halls ready for use.
• Trained over 100 research technicians and agricultural extension agents from nine African countries in crop management research.
• Conducted collaborative courses in seed production and marketing for over 100 participants from 12 West African countries.
• Developed and conducted local collaborative courses in roots and tubers (cassava, cocoyam, sweet potato and yam) for over 150 participants from MOFA, CRI and SARI.
• Produced and distributed over 100,000 instructional and extension materials (Crop production guides, Flip Charts, Farmers’ Hand books, Fact sheets and Video clips) among farmers, NGOs, MOFA staff and Institutional libraries.
• Produced and supplied almost 89, 600 planting materials of plantain to various stakeholders including Ghana Rubber Estate Ltd.
• Trained 182 registered farmers and 326 non-registered farmers on Good Agricultural Practices under KAFACI-ENAES activities.
• Trained 24 IP Facilitators (from 15 Districts across 6 Regions of Ghana) on Soft Skills.
• Trained 99 IP members from Pusiga, Garu –Tempane and Bawku Municipal on IPM and marketing.
• A large amount of data is generated from research carried out
• Students/Scientists are able to apply statistical methods to their research accordingly(After receiving training from the unit)
• Scientists can analyse their data and interpret results on their own after they have been trained them on the use of statistical tools and soft wares
• Agronomy to postharvest issues on the Institutes mandate crops.
• Paradigm shift of agricultural extension from the usual technology transfer process to the provision of information along a commodity value chain including marketing extension, farmer empowerment and facilitating formation of self-motivated farmers’ groups.
• Demand-driven pluralistic and decentralised agricultural extension services and the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for enhancing efficiency in Agriculture and technologies dissemination. This new extension approach includes the application of information technology in extension processes, improving communication process, placing emphasis on participatory research.
• The Division creates new experimental designs and models to meet emerging data demands.
• Enhancement of visibility through media related matters of the Institute and its developed technologies among the general public.
• E-Agriculture system
Areas for Collaboration/partnership
The Division has been collaborating with its numerous stakeholders in the areas of:
• Commercializing of research activities for internal revenue generation
• Training in new technologies developed,
• Training in ICT and statistical software packages
• Training on how to establish Innovation Platform and its sustainability
• Training of field staff on field layouts and pegging.
• Training in electronic resource access and management tools
• Radio, television and print media awareness creation
• Publication of crop production guides/manuals, fact sheets, flyers etc.
• Updating old crop production guides, fact sheets, flyers etc.
• Establishment of learning/demonstration fields
• Video documentary/still pictures on technologies and field activities
The current staff strength of the division is twenty-two (22); comprising of seventeen (17) permanent staff and five (5) National Service/NABCO personnel.