Sylvester Addy has always been an individual with many questions. His love for sciences comes from its innate ability to discover answers to “why” and “how” things happen. He was inspired to become involved in questions concerning food security during his first degree at the University of Ghana, where he studied in the Crop Sciences Department, and sought to find new solutions for obtaining sustainable food security in his country. Mr. Addy has worked for the Crops Research Institute in Ghana since 2008, starting as a co-investigator on food security projects and growing to become the Head of Division and Director of the Crops Research Institute in Kumasi, Ghana in 2011.
Sylvester Addy became a Borlaug LEAP Fellow in the fall of 2014 for his research on reducing the cook time of cowpeas. Currently, the production of cowpeas in Ghana is stagnating, and Mr. Addy believes part of that may be related to a drop off in consumption because of their long cooking time. Cowpeas are an important crop because of their high nutritional value and protein content. Mr. Addy thinks developing nutrient rich (low phytate) cowpea varieties with reduced cooking time will increase the amount of households that consume cowpeas, have the additional benefits of creating more demand for cowpea farmers, and thereby incentivize cowpea production. Mr. Addy is working with Dr. Karen Cichy at Michigan State University, a research geneticist with expertise in dry bean genetics, who will be offering support to his research in phytates as well as assist with PCR analysis. Dr. Boukar at International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has been a plant breeder for over a decade, and will offer his knowledge and experience in cowpea breeding strategies to Mr. Addy’s research.