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General News
Chinese International Award to a Ghanaian Scientist 1/27/2008

The Friendship Award is the highest award given by the Chinese Government to foreign experts for outstanding performance in China. The Ghanaian Professor of Plant Science, Dr. Samuel K. Asiedu, of Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC) and Volunteer Advisor, Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO), was among 50 experts from 20 countries that received the 2007 Friendship Award for their contributions to the social and economic development of P.R. China.

The award ceremony was on the occasion of the 58th anniversary of the founding of the Peoples Republic of China. The State administration for Foreign Expert Affairs (SAFEA) coordinated the overall award program and hosted the Award winners from September 27th to October 1st, 2007 in Beijing, P.R. China.

Dr. Asiedu was recognized for sharing his expertise in potato technology with rural communities through research and training since 1997. The potato research program focused on micropropagation, variety development, crop management and storage. The work was done in collaboration with the Dryland Agroscientific Research and Extension Centre (DAREC) of the Gansu Province. The propagation techniques introduced rapid multiplication of healthy seed potato for a strong industry. The potato development and management research introduced new varieties and improved techniques for producing high yielding and good quality potatoes. The peasant and large-scale farmers in Gansu province have access to new technologies that evolved from the programmmes.

The technology transfer through the training of Agronomists and Technicians focused on rapid seed potato multiplication, variety selection/introduction, potato crop management, integrated pest, disease and stress management, storage management and processing and, more recently potato entrepreneurship. Dr. Asiedu’s potato technology transfer activities have occurred in many counties in Gansu and Liaoning provinces. On some occasions, Dr. Asiedu provided short training to farmers in the fields. The innovations introduced are helping to ensure a stable and profitable potato industry, particularly in poor rural communities. Gansu Province recognized Dr. Asiedu’s contributions with Dung Huang Award in 1998.

“Winning the Friendship Award winning came as a surprise,” says Dr. Asiedu, “the award ceremony was a humbling experience”. Dr. Asiedu sums it best “Overall, the royal recognition of my small international potato development contributions was a humbling lifetime experience.”


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