The Feed the Future USAID Agriculture Technology Transfer Project (FTF-USAID ATT) is a five-year project funded by USAID/Ghana to increase competitiveness of the maize, rice and soybean value chains, fostering broad-based and sustained economic growth through the increased availability of agricultural technologies and increasing productivity in northern Ghana. The project focuses on Ghana’s Feed the Future intervention zone covering the Sudan-savannah ecological zones of northern Ghana: Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
The International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) is the lead implementer, with additional technical support provided through Iowa State University (ISU), the Center for Development Innovation (CDI) of Wageningen University and Research Center, as well as Ghanaian research institutions, including the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) and the University for Development Studies (UDS). Other key partners include Ghana Agricultural Associations Business and Information Center (GAABIC), local non-governmental organizations (LNGOs) and other public and private sector institutions. ATT works closely with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) - its host ministry – in particular, the three northern regional MOFA offices, the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD) and the Ghana Seed Inspection Unit (GSIU), as well as other offices within the Government of Ghana. All play an important role in providing support to ensure the implementation of regulatory and institutional reforms needed for a performing and private sector-driven seed and fertilizer sector in Ghana.
To strengthen capacities as well as better utilize research, IFDC proposes to initiate a program for supporting Master’s and Bachelor’s level studies and thesis research. In addition to offering students resources and collaboration opportunities to enhance their academic education and to build their research capabilities, the scholarship program aims to improve the relevance of this body of research intended to improve the effectiveness of agricultural and rural development strategies in Ghana. An important aspect of this is to make researchers more accountable to stakeholders in the agricultural and business sectors. The program will include activities that inform students of issues in the agricultural sector that deserve the attention of the country’s policymakers. Stakeholders in the sector will also be given the opportunity to provide input into the selection of dissertations or theses that will be supported. Building these linkages between researchers and stakeholders will contribute to the development of a local knowledge system being created as part of Ghana’s commitment to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP).
Bursary support will be restricted to research in agriculture and agribusiness on topics directly related to agricultural and rural development. Students in Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness and Agricultural Extension at University for Development Studies, Nyankpala Campus, will be eligible to apply for this scholarship. The financial support will consist of a thesis grant of Gh ₡ 4,000 for postgraduates and Gh ₡2,000 for undergraduates to complete their research. Successful students will also receive payment for the final year fees of their respective programmes. If field work is necessary, students are expected to use the ATT grant towards these efforts. Further support as needed may also be provided after research has been completed for preparing outputs for publication and dissemination depending on the quality and relevance of research outputs.
Tentatively, the following process will be used to select applicants for the scholarship:
1. During the first round of selection, students will submit concept notes outlining their proposed work. The first screening will result in the selection of exceptional proposals for further assessment. Applicants will be notified that they have been selected and requested to submit full proposals for the scholarship program.
2. Students will submit proposals that have been approved by their supervisors by November 15, 2017. A committee consisting of both researchers and stakeholders will then choose the proposals selected for scholarships based on a demonstration of clear goals and objectives, adequate preparation and background information on the topic, appropriate methods to address the research questions, and relevance to current issues affecting the sector.
Tentative deadlines are as follows:
Concept Notes Due: November 10, 2017
Proposals Due: December 8, 2017
Scholarships Announced: December 20, 2017