Dr. Ernest Asiedu.
Chair, Advisory Board
Dr. Ernest Assah Asiedu was the past Chief of Party of the West Africa Seed Program (WASP) of the West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF) with its Secretariat at Dakar,Senegal. Dr. Asiedu holds the B.Sc. degree in Crop Science from the University of Ghana(1979-1981);M.Sc.inSeed Technology, minor in Plant Breeding from Mississippi State University, USA, (1984-1986), and Ph.D. in Seed Physiology from University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, (1992-1996). Dr. Asiedu started his carrier with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research - Crops Research Institute (CSIR-CRI), Ghana from 1981 to 2006 and rose to the level of Chief Research Scientist.
At the CSIR-CRI, Dr. Asiedu headed the Seed and Biotechnology Division and was the Counterpart Coordinator for the GTZ (now GIZ) funded West Africa Seed Development Unit(1996to2004).Dr.Asiedu pioneered the establishment of the Ghana National Seed Committee,the National Variety Release Committee in 1989 and the reformation of the seed sector from public sector led to private sector inclusion. After working for CSIR-CRI for 25 years, he joined CORAF in 2006 as the Cereals Network Coordinator for West Africa (2006-2007), as the First Manager for the Staple Crops Program, West and Central Africa (2007-2012), Chief of Party for WASP (2012 to 2017) and the Partnership for Agricultural Research and Education (PAIRED;2017-2018).
Whiles at CORAF/WECARD Dr.Asiedu supported the design and management of thirteen regional agricultural projects to improve the productivity of major cereals, legumes, roots and tubers and plantain valuechains under thepartnership swith USAID, AusAID(nowDFAT), DFID, the World Bank and West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP); over 50 students were anchored to theseprojects leading to post-grade degrees.As the Chief of West Africa Seed Program, he supported the implementation of the ECOWAS Seed Regulation in 17 Member States, networking and capacity development in the seed sector which resulted in increased supply of certified seeds in West Africa from 12% in 2012 to 25% between 2012 and 2016. Dr. Asiedu coordinated the Agricultural Rehabilitation Seed Program for Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to curb eminent famine and economic decline during and after the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Diesease.He has presented papers at international,regional and national conferences and workshops and has 39 scientific publications and several articles,manuals and materials to his credit, covering plantbreeding,seed quality improvement and seed and agriculture sectordevelopment. Dr.Asiedu was a Member of the International Seed Testing Association, Seed Vigour Committee for two terms (2000 to 2008) and is a member of the Association of Official Seed Analysts, USA. He has also held the positions of Acting Executive Director and Acting Director of Research Innovation at CORAF and has contributed immensely to agricultural sector development in West and Central Africa. Now he is a Consultant to the AfDB funded Savannah Zone Agricultural Productivity Improvement Program (SAPIP) under MoFA.
Dr. Issoufou Kapran.
Dr. Issoufou Kapran a citizen of Niger Republic, is currently Senior Scientist and Seed Specialist in charge Seed Systems at the West and Central Africa Regional Hub of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Bamako, Mali.
Prior to his appointment in ICRISAT, he worked for 10 years at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) successively as a , Senior Program Officer for seed production and dissemination in the Program for Africa’s Seed Systems (PASS), and Program Coordinator for AGRA West Africa’s Agricultural Transformation Program. He contributed to farmer access to quality seeds of improved varieties notably by facilitating AGRA grants and loans and capacity building to more than 40 seed companies and cooperatives in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Dr. Kapran started his career in Niger where he was in charge of the sorghum improvement program at the country’s national research institute INRAN (Institut National de la RechercheAgronomique du Niger). He led the breeding and release of the first sorghum hybrids in Niger and initiated a seed unit to actively promote and support private entry into sorghum hybrid and other seed production. The unit availed foundation seeds with capacity building to individual farmers and seed cooperatives, and co-organized the first West African Hybrid Sorghum and Pearl Millet Seed Workshop to create a momentum for quality seeds in the sub region.
He holds a PhD in plant breeding from Purdue University in the USA, where also he was awarded a Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2015.