I wish to first of all extend my deepest appreciation to all who in diverse ways have contributed to making me who I am today. I am also indeed glad to undergo training for PhD in my own country through WACCI. Unlike othersI was born to parents without any farming orientation or affiliation.
Howeveran increasing desire to participate in providing solutions to problems mixed with my passionate interest in plant science and genetics led me through courses in biological scienceCrop Science and some Genetics and Plant Breeding training during Secondary School at Accra AcademyBSc. in Agricultural Science (Crop Science) at the University of Ghana and Masters at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State UniversityUSA.
My entrance into a fully-blown research fraternity at the CSIR-Crops Research Institute in the Legume Improvement Programme at Kumasi further deepened my exposure to the realities of the challenges to be addressed. I got the opportunity to get close to hundreds to thousands of farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector particularly on cowpea production in Ghana. Through these encounters I grew a passion to spend a good amount of time with farmers. I learnt a number of things through these close interactions with these stakeholders for four years in the AshantiBrong-AhafoVolta and Greater Accra regions. Working in the Cowpea Improvement programme component of the Legume Improvement Programme (CSIR-CRI)I had the opportunity to undertake and participate in collaborative research projects on the crop. Gladlyone of such projects supported by AGRA led to the release of three improved cowpea varieties for cultivation by farmers in Ghana.
With the ever increasing degree and complexity of challenges in crop productionI acknowledge that there is the need for me to sharpen my toolsscope and understanding of the very 'art' and 'improvement' in plant breeding to enable me contribute to addressing these challenges for food security in Ghana. I am also glad for the opportunity to humbly rub my mind with bigwigs in this field provided by WACCI as well as colleagues from neighbouring countries with whom I forsee a great network for the future. To WACCIthe vision bearersstaff and sponsors of WACCI I say 'ayekoo'.