The Crops Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research has a new Director, Dr. Brandford Mochiah.
He replaces Institute’s first female occupant of the position, Dr. Stella Ama Ennin. Dr. Mochiah, until his appointment by the Board, was Deputy Director.
His immediate focus is how CRI can provide a boost to government’s Planting for Food and Jobs, as well as Planting for Export and Rural Development.
Speaking at the induction ceremony, he pledged to develop improved varieties which are demand driven.
He promised that government’s Planting for Food and Jobs and Planting for Export and Rural Development will be given the needed attention.
“We intend to develop many planting materials in the area of mango, rubber and cashew so we can get enough for our farmers to generate lots of income for the nation”, he said.
Dr. Mochiah says he will also collaborate with the private sector to strengthen funding base of the institute.
He reminds government to fulfill its promise to allocate one percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product for research.
“Our foreign donors are fatigued but we know there are Ghanaians who are doing so well who can support us. Already we’ve identified some. However, hope government will honor its promise by releasing funds to do our research. “he stressed.
Dr. Mochiah entreated researchers at the institute to adopt a commercial mindset to generate income for its operation.
Dr. Branford Mochiah attended Sunyani Senior High School before pursuing B.Sc. (Hons.) degree in Zoology/Botany and M.Phil in Entomology at University of Cape Coast.
He obtained Ph.D in Agricultural Entomology from both University of Cape Coast Cape Coast/ and International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Nairobi, Kenya, under a split( what is that?) programme.
Dr. Mochiah has varied research interests in Integrated Pests Management (IPM), Ecology of Insect Pests and Beneficial Insects leading to Biological Control.
He is currently involved in the development of integrated management strategies for pests of vegetables (cabbage, tomatoes, okra, pepper and eggplant), root and tuber crops (cassava and cocoyam), legumes (cowpea and groundnut) and other CRI mandated crops.
Dr. Mochiah was researcher and demonstrator whilst doing his M.Phil programme at the Department of Zoology of the University of Cape Coast in 1994/5.
He was a postgraduate research follow at International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Nairobi, Kenya, under the German Academic Exchange (DAAD) Ph.D Fellowship.
Dr. Mochiah’s local and international affiliations include; Member of the African Association of Insect Scientists (AAIS), Member of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), Member of African Regional Postgraduate Programme in Insect Science Scholars Association (ASA), Member of CSIR- Research Staff Association (RSA), and Reviewer for several international peer- reviewed journals.
He is currently a Senior Research Scientist (Entomologist) at the CSIR-Crops Research Institute and Coordinator of USAID Project; Peanut and Mycotoxin Innovation Lab.