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Michael Osei, a recognized and promising young scientist from Ghana

Michael Kwabena Osei is a young scientist from Ghana. His work has been recognized through the Ist Ghana Science Congress Awards in August 2011 where he won a Bronze award (Cash prize, lap top and Citation) as the National Best Young Scientist, initiated by the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST). Michael is the first Ghanaian scientist to have reported the discovery of three new distinct tomato virus strains associated with Tomato Yellow Leaf curl Virus (TYLCV) disease in Ghana. This outstanding discovery has been published in the American Plant Disease Journal. Michael expressed that he was very honoured by this recognition, but still sees it as the beginning only, of a great adventure. « This will motivate me and spur me on to greater heights », he said. Michael is currently a research scientist at the Crops Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and industrial Research (CSIR-Crops Research Institute), since 2004, where his main responsibilities have been conducting scientific research on the breeding of vegetables and fruits. After entering the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in 1998 and obtaining a Bachelor in Agriculture in 2002, he pursued a Master of Science programme at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Plant Breeding and graduated only in 2010. He also holds a Diploma in Vegetable breeding and Certificate in Plant Variety Protection/Plant Breeders’ Right from the AVRDC- World Vegetable Center, Arusha-Tanzania and Wageningen, The Netherlands respectively. He has, additionally, participated in a number of other professional or short training courses and workshops in  RDA-KAFACI on the Job-training, South Korea, Online e-resources on the PROTAbase Programme (South Africa), Science and Technology- Europe Africa Project (ST-EAP) Training (Kenya), 2nd Marker Assisted Selection Training (Legon, Ghana), among others. Michael has furthermore attended several international conferences in the USA, Kenya, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso and serves on several CSIR-CRI committees. He is currently the secretary of CSIR-Northern sector Research Staff Association. It is without mentioning that he was also an award winner of CTA in a young scientist competition for sub Saharan African held in 2010 during the FARA general Assembly in Burkina Faso. His research activities include using IPM technology together with breeding techniques to mitigate tomato viruses in tomato growing areas in Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Upper East regions of Ghana where farmers have ignorantly been using pesticides but to no avail. Other activities include rotational cropping of tomato with cassava, cocoyam and plantain and tomato evaluation for selection to adaptability to climate change in Ghana. He has published and presented papers on a wide range of vegetables including tomato, garden eggs and African Indigenous leafy vegetables. After tomato IPM CRSP Project, he hopes to pursue a PhD to upgrade knowledge and skills in his area of expertise. This will allow him to provide inputs into building agriculture in Ghana and help alleviate poverty.