A senior research scientist and lead scientist of the Kirkhouse Trust sponsored project at the CSIR-SARI in the Northern Region of Ghana, Dr. Francis Kusi, has been adjudged the Best Agricultural Research Scientist at the 2016 National Farmers Day celebration held recently.
He was selected by a team of professional jury who combed through a list of highly competitive scientific write-ups submitted by scientists for the prestigious award. Eventually, Dr. Kusi emerged winner.
With less than a decade in the field of scientific research, Dr. Kusi already has to his credit, a number of peer-reviewed scientific papers published in international and local journals, and has attended several international conferences across the world.
He is also a lead scientist for other key projects such as Legume Innovation Lab and Innovation Lab for Climate Resilient Cowpea being implemented in collaboration with the University of California, Riverside, in the United States of America.
Dr. Kusi who holds a PhD in Entomology, has over the past two years, supervised 10 MPhil and three PhD students from the University of Cape Coast, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University for Development Studies and University of Ghana under his projects at CSIR-SARI.
Through contract proposals, Dr. Kusi in the year 2012 was able to get Kirkhouse Trust to establish a molecular lab at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) located at Nyankpala.
Through the project, he secured funding for a number of young scientists from SARI to go for short training courses abroad whereas others enrolled on MPhil and PhD studies in Ghana.
|Dr. Francis Kusi Receiving The Award|
Over the years, he has also collaborated with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and non-governmental organisations such as PAS-Garu, Northfin Foundation, Trias Ghana, Care International and ZOFA Farmer Training Centre, World Vision and ECOSIB in technology development and dissemination to farmers in the Upper East Region. These collaborations have resulted in significant improvement in the farmers’ knowledge and skills in managing crops, soil pests and diseases using Integrated Pest Management with good agricultural practices as the main component.
An alumnus of the University of Ghana, Dr. Kusi comes across to many of his peers and colleagues as a team player. He is not just a team player, but also leader, teacher and mentor.
For instance, he is passionate about training agricultural extension agents, field staff of NGOs and technicians as well as staff from SARI in insect pest identification and their management strategies as well as establishment, management of field trials, demonstrations and data collection.
With his unique skill set, he regularly trains technicians and research scientists in molecular techniques, and in collaboration with other scientists of different disciplines, they implement programs to generate and/or disseminate technologies to address farmers’ problems in a more sustainable approach.
Like many promising research scientists, Dr. Kusi belongs to a number of professional bodies and associations. He is a member of the Research Staff Association of CSIR, Ghana’s leading research institution. He is also member of the Ghana Science Association and the Entomology Society of Ghana.