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  • Posted: Oct 27, 2020
    Deadline: Not specified
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    IFDC has focused on increasing and sustaining food security and agricultural productivity in over 100 developing countries through the development and transfer of effective and environmentally sound crop nutrient technology and agribusiness expertise.


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    MSc. Internship Opportunity

    Persistently, there has been lower actual yields than potential yield for all crops in Ghana. Meanwhile, to achieve food security and reduce poverty in the country, crop productivity must be improved. The observed shortfall in yield is due to several factors, and one of such crucial factors is the declining soil fertility in the country. Unfortunately, fertilizer use in the country is also below recommended application rates. These complexities between low yield and underapplication of fertilizer require assessment. This would help establish the relationship between the quantity of fertilizer used in the production of an observed yield and to move such analysis from treatment-control plots to farmers own fields. FEFARI has gathered a wide range of data including the outputs and yields of some major crops of the country. An intern is therefore needed to analyse the fertilizer-yield relationship in order to establish a baseline information upon which impacts of the project can be measured. The student is expected to address the following and any other relevant objective.

    • Review existing literature on fertilizer use and yield in Ghana.
    • Perform statistical analyses on fertilizer/nutrient use and yield.
    • Assess the effect of soil management practices and other co-variates on the yield of maize, rice and soybean
    • Gather auxiliary variables from maps, including soil type, various soil properties, rainfall and the like to perform multivariate and spatial analyses.

    Research Questions

    • How do crops respond to fertilizers in Ghana?
    • What are the contributing factors to crop yield?
    • What amount of fertilizer would be optimal to realize yields above average?
    • What polices could improve yield?

    Methodology

    • This student shall study available data and perform all quality checks including data conversion to appropriate units, assessment of outliers as well as normality checks and data transformation. The student shall use scientific background as well as correlation and regression to select contributing factors to model yields and covariates for geostatistical interpolation and mapping using available tools such as QGIS, ArcMap, SAGA GIS, GRASS GIS and R. The figure below is a graphical representation of the methodology described above.

    Output

    • At the end of the research, the student shall produce a policy brief and a report to FERARI on this research. The student would also be assisted to produce a research article that can be published in a scientific journal for our wider international audience.

    Duration

    • The duration for this assignment shall be seven (6) months (first month for inception proposal, second month for data cleaning and the remaining four months for data analysis, report writing and research article drafting.

    Selection procedure

    • Applicants should send their motivation letter and CV. Selection will be based on thorough review of these documents and an interview with a selection committee.

    Application should include the following:

    • Curriculum Vitae
    • A cover letter Indicating current Institution.
    • A supporting letter from Thesis Supervisor.

    Closing date

    • November 30, 2020

    Required Skills

    Qualification

    • Agronomy with strong statistical background. Capable of doing field experimental evaluation studies. Demonstrated access to statistical packages for data analysis with a fair knowledge of Geographic Information System (GIS). Completed the course work of his/her master’s degree and at the research stage. The of GIS software would be a plus.

    Method of Application

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