CSIR-Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) is one of the 13 research institutes of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). It was originally known as the Nyankpala Agricultural Experimental Station (NAES) and operated as an outpost of the CSIR-Crop Research Institute (CRI), Kumasi. In June 1994, it gained autonomy and was upgraded to a fully-fledged research institute and thus renamed as CSIR-Savanna Agricultural Research Institute. CSIR-SARI is located 16 kilometres west of Tamale in the Tolon district of the Northern region of Ghana.


CSIR-SARI’s mandate is to provide small-scale farmers in the three regions of northern Ghana (Northern, Upper East and Upper West) with appropriate innovations and technologies to increase their food and fibre crop production based on a sustainable production system which maintains and/or increases soil fertility.


To become a lead Research and Development (R&D) Institution by making agricultural research responsive to farmer needs and national development.


To conduct agricultural research in northern Ghana with the aim of developing and introducing improved technologies that will enhance overall farm level productivity for improved livelihoods.


CSIR-SARI has adopted a bottom-up approach in its research activities. This approach called Farming System Research (FSR) aims at making CSIR-SARI realize its research objectives in more practical and concrete terms. The approach emphasizes a thorough investigation of the circumstances of the farm household as a basis for determining the technical research programme. It also demands the implementation of mainly on-farm research and in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) staff and NGOs in the field. To ensure smooth and efficient implementation of the FSR, CSIR-SARI has established what are known as Farming Systems Research Groups (FSRG) in the mandate area. These groups are composed of research scientists whose backgrounds cut across all disciplines of agriculture; Crop Breeding, Agronomy, Entomology, Agricultural Economics, Soil Science, etc. There are currently three groups based in the different respective regions. These are Upper West Region Farming System Research Group (UWR-FSRG), Wa, Upper West Region, Upper East Region Farming System Research Group (UER-FSRG), Manga-Bawku, Upper East Region and Northern Region Farming System Research Group (NR-FSRG), Nyankpala, Northern Region. All these groups are backstopped by another group at the main office, Nyankpala called Scientific Support Group (SSG). Research scientists in this group conduct mainly on-station research to provide solutions to constraints that cannot be easily addressed at the farm level. They also engage in on-farm research during participatory varietal and technology development with end-users.


Since gaining autonomy as a fully-fledged research institute, CSIR-SARI has developed a number of technologies in the area of crop varieties development, cropping systems research, crop protection, integrated soil fertility management practices (ISFM), the use of models to predict climatic changes, as well as post-harvest handling of perishable commodities and processing. The Institute since 2013 has established a Nutrition and Food Science unit that is conducting research into product development and recipe refinement to add value to our mandate crops such as soybean, sweet potato, maize, cowpea and groundnut. The Institute has so far released improved varieties of maize (17), rice (6), soybean (7), cowpea (12), groundnut (4), sorghum (2), millet (5), cotton (2) and cassava (3) through collaborative research and funding from Government of Ghana and other international donor partners. CSIR-SARI has also developed technologies in integrated crop and pest management strategies as well as soil fertility management strategies that are farmer-friendly and compatible with the local farming systems in northern Ghana.


The core values that the staff of CSIR-SARI ascribe to and also guide the way of doing things in the institute are as follow;

  •  Discipline
  • Dedication
  • Reliability
  • Transparency
  • Team work
  • Hard work
  • Mutual respect
  • Professionalism


The CSIR-SARI offers a number of services to the public which include providing breeder and foundation seeds to certified seed growers. The Institute provides services on soil and plant tissue analysis. The Institute has a biotechnology laboratory that offers services such as DNA extraction for diversity analysis, Marker assisted selection and polymorphism for students and other scientists. The Institute also provide tractor and combine harvester services to the public. The CSIR-SARI also offers consultancy service, collaborative and contract research for our clients.


The Institute seeks collaborations and partnerships from the general public: Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s), Farmer Based Organizations (FBO’s) and Agro-processers who seek to address food security issues, poverty alleviation and wealth creation through sustainable and improved Agricultural productivity that enhances the livelihood of the vulnerable.


We want farmers to see Agriculture particularly farming as business; they should adopt improved technologies that have been developed out of research to help them increase their production as well as their livelihood. We entreat farmers to freely collaborate with scientists and share ideas in the problem identification and development of solutions in a participatory manner to facilitate adoption.


The CSIR-SARI has documented most of its research findings in the Institute’s Annual Reports that can be obtained from the website of the Council (www.csir.org.gh). The Institute has both printed and digital versions of these reports from 1999 to 2015, the 2016 version is still in production. The Institute has produced production guides for some of the improved varieties released. Fact Sheets as well as Training Manuals on Good Agronomic Practices (GAP) have also been produced to help Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs), farmers and other stakeholders in executing their work.


The research scientists in contributing to knowledge have published their findings in refereed Journals and conference papers. The institute has over 300 publications which cut across all disciplines. Samples are presented below:

Abdulai, A.L., Kouressy, M., Vaksmann, M., Asch, F., Giese, M., Brueck, H., 2012. Latitude and date of sowing influence phenology of photoperiod-sensitive sorghums. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science 198 (5): 340-348.

Abu, H.B and Buah, S.S.J., 2011. Characterization of Bambara Groundnut Landraces and their evaluation by farmers in Upper West region of Ghana. Journal of Developments and Sustainable Agriculture 6: 66-74.

Abubakari, M., Wilson, D., Baba, I.I.Y., Mohammed, A.M. and Tahiru, F., 2015. Performance and trace element uptake of rice varieties under different fertilizer application. Journal of Biology, Agriculture and healthcare 5(4): 97-103.

Abudulai, M., Salifu, A.B., Opare-Atakora, D., Haruna, M., Inusah, B. and Dzomeku, I.K. 2013. Field efficacy of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) for managing soil arthropods and cercospora leaf spots damage for increased yield in peanut. Plant Protection Science 49: 65-72.

Adjebeng-Danquah, J., Gracen, V., Offei, S.K., Asante I.K. and Manu-Aduening J., 2016. Agronomic performance and genotypic diversity for morphological traits cassava genotypes in the guinea savannah ecology of Ghana. Journal of Crop Science and Biotechnology 19 (1): 99-108.

Asante, M., Becker, M., Angulo, C., Fosu, M. and Dogbe, W., 2017. Seasonal nitrogen dynamics in lowland rice cropping systems in inland valleys of northern Ghana. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 108, 87-95.

Boddey, R.M., Fosu, M., Atakora, W., Cesar, H.B.M., Boddey, L.H., Guimaraes, A.P. and Ahiabor, B.D.K., 2016. Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) crops in Africa can respond to inoculation with rhizobium. Experimental Agriculture.

Kombiok, J.M., Buah, S.S.J., Dzomeku, I.K. and Abdulai, H., 2012. Sources of pod yield losses in groundnut in northern savanna zone of Ghana. West African Journal of Applied Ecology 20 (2): 53-63.

Kugbe, J.X., Fosu, M., Desta,T.L., Denich, M. And Vlek, P.L.G., 2012. Annual vegetation burns across the northern savanna region of Ghana: period of occurrence, area burns, nutrient losses and emissions. Nutrient Cycle Agroecosystem 93: 265-284.

Kusi, F., Asante, S.K., Adjebeng-Danquah, J., Nutsugah, S.K., Buah, S.S.J., Owusu, R.K., Wiredu, A.N., Sugri, I. and Zakaria, M., 2013. Participatory integrated pest management strategy for improving shelf-life of yam (Dioscorea spp.). International Journal of Advance Agricultural Research 1: 124-132.

Sugri, I., Nutsugah, S.K. and Yirzagla, J., 2011. Effect of some physical characteristics on viability of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Brown). Research Journal of Seed Science 4(4): 181-191.


CSIR-SARI collaborates with a number of institutions which include other Research Institute such as CSIR-Crop Research Institute, CSIR-Soil Research Institute etc. Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), local and international Universities, Consultative Groups of International Agricultural Research Centres (CGIAR) example International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) etc. and Agricultural Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).



Pictures on improved technologies developed by CSIR-SARI can be found on the institute’s website (www.csir-sari.org). However, few photos on some of the technologies developed are shown below;

Improved yam storage structures2 Improved yam storage structures

Improved yam storage structures: extend shelf-life of yam from 3-7 months


solar drierSolar drier for vegetables and root crops
(cassava and sweet potato chips)
plastic mulchPlastic mulch for moisture and weed
control for efficient vegetable production


Some of the varieties released by CSIR-SARI


Yield potential: 8.5 t ha-1


Maize: CSIR Salin-Kawana
Yield potential: 8.4 t ha-1

Sorghum: Dorado
Yield Potential: 2.5 t ha-1 
Special attribute: drought tolerant
Cowpea: Kirkhose Benga
Yield Potential: 2.4 t ha-1 
Special attribute: Striga & Aphids resistant
Soybean: Afayak
Yield Potential: 2.5 t ha-1 
Special attribute: Excellent for striga control



Videos and audios on improved technologies developed by CSIR-SARI can be found on the institute’s website (www.csir-sari.org) and also on the Institute’s Youtube page (CSIR-SARI). Excerpts of the videos can be obtained from the link provided below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8cJJ8GYumA ,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuRvjrTcDKo ,


All correspondence should be directed to the Director of CSIR-SARI;
The Director
CSIR-Savanna Agricultural Research Institute
P. O. Box 52, Tamale/Ghana
Tel: 03720 98331
www. csir-sari.org
Facebook: Savanna Agricultural Research Institute
You tube: CSIR-SARI