Invest more in information for development – CSIR boss

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Professor Emmanuel Owusu-Bennoah, Director-General
of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), on Monday urged
policy makers to invest in strategies that would help research scientists confront challenges they faced in communicating their findings to agricultural stakeholders, especially farmers.
He said since the information environment was constantly changing it would be dangerous to rely on ad hoc decisions without access to relevant information and its long-term impact.
Prof. Owusu Bennoah, whose speech was read by Dr Wisdom Plahar, Director of the Food Research Institute, was speaking at the opening of a Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)/Institute for Scientific and Technological Information (INSTI) training course on Investing in Information for Development in Accra.
The five-day workshop seeks to increase the skills of CTA national and local partners in developing appropriate Information and Communication Management (ICM) strategies.
The participants are from Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Malawi, Dominica, Tanzania, Antigua, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, St Vincent and Grenadines and Gambia.
Prof. Owusu-Bennoah said strategies and plans were very important to agricultural development and any organization that encouraged effective ICM reaped the benefits of its Research and Development.
He said in a globalized world, successful organizations or nations were those that recognized the importance of knowledge, and implemented policies and strategies to promote its creation, sharing and application.
Prof. Owusu-Bennoah said ICM and knowledge management usually had three main components - people, processes and technology – adding that although ICT provided many opportunities it was the people that had to use the technology to drive the processes.
Dr Byron Mook, the Course Director for the workshop, said the course had been designed to assist policymakers and managers in making decisions about access to information, sharing of information, assessment of costs and appropriate information technology.
He said the focus would be on the development of structures, procedures and processes for effective ICM, adding that CTA national and local partners in particular would find its practical use in developing their ICM strategies.

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