June 23, 2021
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'Public Perception about science makes communication of agricultural technologies challenging’-CSIR Head of Corporate Affairs

At the workshop: from left, Mr. WilheimKutah, Communications Officer at CSIR-Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI), Ms. Benedicta Nkrumah-Boateng, the Head of Corporate Affairs at CSIR, Dr. Stephen Bekoe, Senior Scientific Information Officer (CSIR) and Mr. Isaac Osei Tutu, Principal Technologist, CSIR-Crop Research Institute (CSIR-CRI) At the workshop: from left, Mr. WilheimKutah, Communications Officer at CSIR-Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI), Ms. Benedicta Nkrumah-Boateng, the Head of Corporate Affairs at CSIR, Dr. Stephen Bekoe, Senior Scientific Information Officer (CSIR) and Mr. Isaac Osei Tutu, Principal Technologist, CSIR-Crop Research Institute (CSIR-CRI)
  • We live in a noisy world where people are inundated with information 24/7. If you want to make sure your audience hear what you have to say, and take the actions you’re hoping for, you must be strategic in your communication.
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Ms. Benedicta Nkrumah-Boateng, the Head of Corporate Affairs at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has said that, a major hindrance in communicating agricultural technologies is due to public perception that science is difficult. 

 

She indicated, CSIR in line with its five year strategic plan (2021-2025) is taking steps to rebrand the Council and scale up its visibility, to change the perception.

She mentioned “private sector driven research and development (R & D) and technological innovation, financial resource mobilization as well as staff and systems performance improvement” as the other strategic thrusts of the plan.

Ms. Nkrumah-Boateng made this revelation at a workshop organised by the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) on best communication practices in agricultural research and development with selected communication experts from Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Niger.

The workshop held in Dakar, Senegal from May 25 to 27, 2021 also saw the presentation of a revived platform for accessing agricultural technology information that is, Market to Agricultural Innovations and Technologies (MITA).

Among the activities that CSIR had done as part of enhancing visibility , Ms. Nkrumah-Boateng mentioned, were “the formation of strategic media partnerships, creation of corporate communication platforms and tools like, CSIR-Crop Research (CSIR-CRI) TV and the organisation of training  workshops for the media, Research and Extension Linkage Committees (RELCs) and Information Officers”.

She noted that, the results from these initiatives so far have been remarkable, citing extensive media coverage of the launch of CSIR-Soil Research Institute digitized soil maps in March 2021.  

Furthermore, Ms. Nkrumah-Boateng said full episodes of Ayekoo, a programme which promotes farming and agribusiness on UTV a private TV station, have been dedicated to CSIR institutes showcasing their programmes and activities. Agricultural based research institutes of the Council are also regularly featured on GTV’s Farmers Weekly programme, she added.

Again, Ms. Nkrumah-Boateng said the Council is at its advanced stage of forming a network of information  officers from all the thirteen institutes of CSIR.

The participants who are communication experts from National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) formed a Community of Practice (CoP) which is a platform to learn from each other and share information.

Ms. Nkrumah Boateng was elected to lead and coordinate activities of the Anglophone Countries of the CoP.

For Mr. David Akana, the Communication and Marketing Manager at CORAF, the CoP would grow to encompass NARS from all the 23 West and Central African countries.

CORAF is an international non-profit association of national agricultural research system in 23 West and Central Africa countries working to enhance prosperity, food and nutrition security in West and Central Africa.

Source: Corporate Affairs, CSIR


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