CSIR’s Animal Research Institute inspires efficiency and entrepreneurship in livestock industry

Feature by Lydia Kukua Asamoah, GNA

Accra, September 18, GNA – The Animal Research
Institute (ARI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR),
continues to be at the forefront of technology development through its
innovative interventions-moving industry a step ahead, and providing food
security, job and wealth creation in the country. 

In all its operations and throughout its
interventions, over 3,600 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have had their
capacity built, 259 start-ups have been supported in diverse ways, over 2,600
students have been exposed to the prospects in livestock agribusiness, while
its supported businesses have created about 400 new jobs.

ARI has trained over 4,000 young people in the
creation and running of livestock businesses through, which it
had successfully commercialised four livestock technologies, offered
internship opportunities to students and supported many young people to create
their own businesses.

As part of its contribution towards the
socio-economic development of the country, it has rebranded wheat-bran, which
was an environmental hazard some years back and commercialise it; it has
championed livestock diseases including the Newcastle disease; as well as
developed poultry breeds that is supporting industry.

“We have developed technology packages that
are moving the big industry forward. We have technologies that support the
grass cutter industry. In fact the industries will not wait for us to finish
our research-they are at our doorsteps every time to take what is coming from
us. So everything that starts here changes the phase of industry”, Professor
Emmanuel K. Adu, Director of ARI said when he opened a day’s event at the
Institute’s premises.

The open day, which was held on the theme:
“Championing Innovations in livestock production for jobs and wealth creation:
CSIR-Animal Research Institute at the Forefront”, formed part of activities to
mark the 60th anniversary celebrations of the CSIR throughout the country.

CSIR was established by NLC Degree 293 of October
10, 1968. It was re-established in its present form by CSIR Act 521 of November
26 1996.

It currently has developed products like
powered egg, egg yolk oil, multi-nutritional feed blocks for ruminants, quality
hay and salt lick for livestock’s, customised dairy products such as fresh milk
and yoghurt as well as processed meat including smoked, dried, fresh minced and
deboned meat for sale on both small and large scale bases. 

Prof Adu said with the current demand for more
technological and scientific advancement services, ARI had braced itself
to rise to the occasion through its re-engineering policy to inspire
efficiency, and espouse more entrepreneurs through technology development and
innovative interventions to bring about job creation, food safety and wealth

ARI as one of the 13 Institutes of the CSIR
was established as a Biological Research Institute in January 1957 as an agency
of Tsetse Control Department of the Gold Coast Administration.

It was associated with the University College
and housed in Achimota.

It was re-designated Entomological and
Parasitological Research Institute, under the newly promulgated National
Research Council, later re-named the Ghana Academy of Sciences, in 1959. 

However, in 1964 the name of the Unit was
changed to Animal Research Institute when the research programme was widened
from strictly animal health to include other areas of animal agriculture.

ARI, currently has six divisions, created for
the purposes of organising the Institute administratively, to provide products
and services based on cutting-edge research. 

The divisions include the Farmed Animals
Technology Development that focuses on developing of modern technologies for
livestock production, and technology packages for different categories of
livestock; and the Companion Animals and Livestock Diseases Control Division,
which play a role in companion animal health research, develop protocols and
rapid responses for early detection of common livestock diseases and also
participate in the neglected tropical diseases grant scheme. 

Another Division is the Industrial Products
Development, Food Safety and Marketing that focus on the development of new
livestock and dairy products, and the development of technologies to extend the
shelf-life of livestock products. 

There is also the division of Natural
Resources Management and Environmental Health that develops technologies for
efficient and economic exploitation of Ghana’s natural resources while
developing technologies that would ensure and promote sound environmental

The Livelihoods, Innovations and Business
Development, is another Division that develops animal-based livelihood models
for poverty reduction, develop various models for public-private partnerships
also known as business incubation, and develop business models for commercial
livestock production.

The last division is the Genomics and
Livestock Improvement that focuses on developing the skills in the use of
genomics for improved livestock breeding, and tool kits for diagnostics as well
as providing support grant applications in various aspects of livestock

ARI has been partnering various institutions
and regional bodies to enable it come out with its innovative solutions to the
doorsteps of many individual Ghanaians and businesses as it continues to play
roles in agribusiness incubators to stimulate innovation and entry of new firms
into the agribusiness sector.

Thus, in 2012, the Forum for Agricultural
Research in Africa (FARA), with support from DANIDA established six
agribusiness innovation incubations in some African Countries including Ghana,
Uganda, Zambia, Kenya and Mali.

The initiative involved the creation of
consortia with partners from University, Research and Business, dubbed
UniBRAIN, which were to support the creation of start-up business, particularly
youth and women-led businesses in the agriculture sector.

 In the case of Ghana, ARI under the initiative,
led a consortium made up of University of Ghana, Heifer International, Animal
Production Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Humbeg
Farms, a privately-owned poultry farm to establish the Creating Champions In
Livestock Agribusiness (CCLEAr) agribusiness incubator, where it provided
services to entrepreneurs, students and relevant stakeholders in the area of
training and advisory services in livestock production, processing and
marketing and business development as well as technology commercialisation

ARI is however, facing a serious land
encroachment issue by some Ghanaians, and it appealing for support from the
state to help its capture and protect its lands so it could have the needed
land to expand its operations, and continue to play its critical role and
services, towards the socio-economic development of the country.


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