An alumnus of the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), Dr. Maxwell Darko Asante was named the Best Research Scientist for 2017 at a colourful ceremony at the Crops Research Institute (CRI), Fumesua, Ghana on December 20, 2017. The award presented by Dr. W.K. Agble, founding Director of the Institute was as a result of Dr. Asante’s impact on rice breeding at the Institute.
Dr. Asante is a Senior Research Scientist and the Head of the Cereals Division of CRI. He is also the President of the CRI Research Staff Association and the lead person for Breeders’ task force activities for African Rice in Ghana.
Dr. Agble presenting the Best Research Scientist award to Dr. Asante
Employing the technical expertise he acquired at WACCI, Dr. Asante has moved beyond his thesis research on rice and released seven improved varieties since graduation.
Dr. Asante with some members from the National Variety Release Committee inspecting his rice varieties.
Four of the varieties were developed in Ghana and are the first rice varieties released from the country’s own local crosses. He has also built basic infrastructure to facilitate rice breeding and has re-defined the breeding methodology of the Institute to make greater impact with the limited resources available. Dr. Asante has garnered over half a million US dollars for the CRI for research since graduating from WACCI.
Dr. Asante’s success at CRI validates the WACCI philosophy “training plant breeders on African problems in Africa for Africa for maximum impact in local environments”.
WACCI congratulates Dr. Maxwell Darko Asante on his award.