Professor Eric Y. Danquah Appointed as Member of the Independent...

Eric Yirenkyi Danquah, Professor of Plant Genetics at the Department of Crop Science of the University of Ghana has been appointed member of the Independent Advisory Committee of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research’s (CGIAR’s) Research Program on Dryland Cereals.
Prof. Danquah is also the Director of the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), a partnership between the University of Ghana (UG) and Cornell University, USA which was established in June 2007 with funding from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to train Plant Breeders in a PhD programme at the University of Ghana. The vision of WACCI is to be the foremost Centre for the training of Plant Breeders for West and Central Africa and its mission is to equip plant breeders with knowledge and field experience to lead the conversion of genetic and molecular discoveries into innovative solutions that will benefit agriculture in West and Central Africa.
The Independent Advisory Committee will provide input and advice to the ICRISAT Governing Board, CGIAR’s Research Program Steering Committee and Research Management Committee on the quality and relevance of the CGIAR’s research program portfolio, priority setting and allocation of resources. The committee is composed of independent research-for-development experts with relevant experience and expertise in dryland cereals and the target regions. Other members of the committee are Dr. Greg Edmeades, an Independent Consultant in New Zealand, Dr. Peter Langridge of the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, Dr. Ivan Rwomushana, Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), Uganda, Dr. R.S. Mahala, Pioneer Overseas Corporation, India Branch, Dr. Paco Serene, West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), Senegal and Professor Margaret Smith of the Department Plant Breeding, Cornell University in the USA.
The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Research Program on Dryland Cereals led by the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) envision a world where the dryland poor are well-nourished and secure in their supplies of dryland-grown cereal grains. On-farm yields of the target crops sorghum, pearl millet, finger millet and barley are expected to increase by at least 16% over ten years, elevating total production in the target zones by 11 million metric tons of grain, providing US$2.5 billion additional annual value of food, feed and fodder. These benefits will flow to about 5.8 million smallholder farms which are home to 34 million people. This will be achieved through seven Flagship Projects, implemented through four overarching Strategic Research Themes.
In his acceptance, Professor Danquah said “I am aware that the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals is focused on improving the productivity of key cereals in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia but with significant spillover potential to other cereal production ecologies globally. This will require strong partnerships, good science, commitment and hard work from a global network of a range of experts. I accept the appointment and all the demands of this assignment, and I thank the Governing Board of ICRISAT and the Steering Committee of the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals for the confidence in me.”
ICRISAT is organising the inception meeting of the Independent Advisory Committee from the 14-15 February, 2014 at its campus at Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Congratulations to Prof. Eric Danquah. While wishing him a fruitful tenure as Advisor to the CGIAR, we are confident that his wide and rich experience will bear on the Committee’s work.