MPhil Course Description
Seminars and Thesis
This course is designed to provide students with knowledge on how seeds are formed and principles of the production of seeds. Seed Biology will cover the definition of seed, the physiological and biochemical basis underlying seed formation and development; seed germination; seed dormancy and utilization of food reserves during the early stages of seedling growth. Seed Production will deal with the agronomy of key staple crops. Topics will include site selection and growth requirements of plants; isolation distances in relation to seed classes; effects of planting dates and spacing on seed quality, and crop protection.
The objective of this course is to equip students with knowledge in the planning and management of their research, data analysis, and interpretation and presentation of research results. Topics covered include: Scientific process and research; research design; experimental design; collection, processing and analysis of data. Concept of survey and field studies. Formulation and test of hypothesis. Analysis of variance and covariance. Analysis of frequencies. Regression analyses. Practical applications of statistical methods in seed testing. Research proposal and scientific report writing. Use of appropriate statistical software for data analysis.
The course will provide students with the technical knowledge to utilize financial accounting information in support of business decisions. The accounting aspect of the course will include seed industry financial statements, corporate governance issues, financial statement analysis, and valuation of seed firms. The financial aspect of the course will show students how to apply the valuation, risk analysis, and other financial analysis techniques used to make and evaluate the major financial decisions facing the firm.
TThis course is designed to equip students with knowledge of the concepts and principles of plant breeding. Topics will include aims, materials and methods of plant breeding; processes of crop evolution; evolution of specific crops; geographical distribution and conservation of crop genetic resources; breeding and selection methods; breeding for resistance to disease and pests; polyploidy; mutation breeding; interspecific hybridization. The course will also cover the theory and practical skills in plant biotechnology relevant to plant breeding.
This course is designed to help students identify opportunities in micro enterprise. Topics covered include: definition of micro enterprise; classification of micro enterprise; entrepreneurship development process; opportunity recognition, resource mobilisation, launching the enterprise; entrepreneurship theories, concepts, nature and need; enterprise product development; characteristics of successful entrepreneurs; entrepreneurship within development context; entrepreneurship and rural livelihoods; principles of innovation; purposeful innovation and sources of innovative opportunities for enterprise development; types of organisational structure and their suitability for specific enterprises; enterprise management skills; management roles in micro enterprises; human resource development for enterprise growth; delegation, motivation and leadership in microenterprises; business plan development and implementation.
This course discusses the importance of organisms that affect seed quality, their detection and control. Seed Pathology will cover mechanisms and cycles of seed infection by fungi, bacteria, viruses and nematodes; common seed-borne and seed- transmitted diseases affecting seeds and their significance in the major phases of seed production and utilization; detection of infection/infected seeds, epidemiology, pre- harvest and post-harvest control of pathogens and maintenance of seed quality. Seed Entomology will cover infestation of seeds by insects; seed deterioration following attack detection of insect infestation; tools for detecting infestation; seed health management; disinfestation and seed protection using chemicals, ionising irradiation etc.
Students will be exposed to different types of seeds (orthodox, vegetatively propagated and recalcitrant seeds) and how their morphology and biochemistry influence processing and storage. Topics will include seed harvesting; seed extraction; seed drying techniques; seed cleaning and conditioning; seed treatment and priming; seed viability and monitoring; the operational principles of seed equipment and their management; principles of seed storage (including in situ and ex situ storage; tissue culture techniques); seed storage structures; seed packaging; seed quality analysis and maintenance; principles of seed plant organization and establishment.
This course is designed to provide students with core graduate level management and leadership skills to enable them better serve seed businesses and regulatory agencies, their customers and stakeholders, in an increasingly complex environment. The course will cover topics including seed systems in Ghana (formal and informal sectors; seed exchange among farmers in Ghana and Africa); marketing and marketing strategies; how seed value is created and delivered in market economies; distribution; how government regulation impacts the delivery of value to customers; the appropriate scope of effective regulation, and various ethical approaches to regulation; human resource management; general management of a seed business.
The course focuses on regulatory environments shaping an organization's business strategy; the role of certification schemes in facilitation of trade; and national quality regulation including truth in labelling, variety registration, certification (germination, physical purity, genetic identity, genetic purity, and moisture content). It emphasizes the difference between process standards and output tests; process improvement; and product liability. In the area of biosafety regulations, it includes: restricted testing, food safety, commercial seed use. Special attention will be given to intellectual property protection: trademarks; industrial secrets and contract law; plant breeders' rights and UPOV; patent protection for genetic information; patent protection for biotech processes and products; traceability of varieties; and the impact of IP protection on variety development, variety testing, and the dissemination of performance information by businesses.
This course is designed to provide students with a detailed knowledge on the various Quality Assurance (QA) processes in the seed industry worldwide. Students will learn about the primary task of the seed industry: achieving quality in production, maintaining quality in processing and handling, and establish reproducible ways to measure quality throughout the seed value chain. Topics will include the Definition of good quality seed; genetic purity, physical purity; physiological conditions, seed health status; Quality assurance systems; Importance of good quality seed; need for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP); use of HACCP process; Total Quality Management (TQM); ISO-9000 etc.
Students will undertake a minimum of six weeks and a maximum of three months internship at a Private Seed Company or a National Research Institute to gain practical work experience. A formal report on the internship, endorsed by a designated supervisor will be submitted after which a seminar will be presented to the Centre. The report and seminar will be graded.
Seminar I will cover the MPhil Research Proposal. The research topic, research outline, justification and objectives, methodology, data to be collected and types of analysis, plan of work as well as budget will be reviewed following a formal presentation by the student to the supervisory committee, other students and faculty. This will be graded.
Seminar II will look at research results and discussions in line with the set objectives. A presentation of results/findings and contribution of research to knowledge will be assessed and graded.