“Harness the power of scientific advancements to enable our farmers to produce more, and lose less” – Hon. Kwaku Afriyie (MP), MESTI
The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI), Hon. Dr. Kwaku Afriyie (MP) has called on scientists to harness the power of scientific advancements to enable farmers to produce more, lose less, improve productivity, and enhance livelihoods. He made this call at the 34th Ordinary Session of the West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF) Board of Directors meeting in Accra.
“It is my expectation that by the end of this 3-day Board of Directors meeting, the team would be able to take critical decisions that will have a greater impact on the lives of the populace in the sub-region and expand the frontiers of agricultural research,’ the Minister remarked.
Hon. Afriyie seized the opportunity to call upon all stakeholders present at the meeting, representing academia, research institutions, governmental bodies, and private sector entities, to join hands and collaborate in the pursuit of agricultural excellence. “Let us foster partnerships, share knowledge, and facilitate the transfer of technology to ensure that our farmers have access to the tools and techniques they need to thrive,” he added.
Group photo with the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI)
The meeting, which commenced with an official opening ceremony at the CSIR Head Office, is scheduled from the 11th to the 14th of July. Prof. Paul P. Bosu, the Director-General of CSIR-Ghana, delivered an inspiring opening address, setting the stage for the program's objectives and highlighting the significance of collaboration and innovation. Speaking further, he pointed out that the 34th Ordinary Session being hosted by CSIR in Ghana will let their colleagues, regional bodies as well as donors get to know the various research that have been carried out by his outfit and also the breakthroughs that have been experienced over the period. Dr. Angela Maria P.B. da Veiga Moreno, Chair of the CORAF Board of Directors, in her remarks, also expressed optimism for fruitful discussions and outcomes during the program.
In a statement delivered on his behalf, Mr. Bryan Acheampong, Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), expressed concern over the annual decline in Ghana's food production, which is expected to worsen over time due to the influence of climate change. He elaborated on how prolonged dry spells, floods, and rising temperatures are adversely affecting the agricultural sector, ultimately leading to a decline in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
CORAF Board of Directors Chair being assisted by the Director-General and the Council Chair, CSIR to open the exhibition
The opening ceremony included an exhibition where participants and invited guests had the opportunity to explore various research projects and initiatives and also witnessed the remarkable advancements in Ghana's agricultural sector. The exhibition was inaugurated by the Chair of the CORAF Board of Directors, Dr. Angela Maria P.B. da Veiga Moreno assisted by CSIR Council Chair, Prof. Robert Kingsford-Adaboh, and the Director-General of CSIR Prof. Paul P. Bosu.
Prof. Marian D. Quain, Deputy Director-General of CSIR, delivered a presentation on research innovation and technology transfer for the development of the agricultural sector in West and Central Africa, with a focus on Ghana. Presentations made by the West African Centre of Excellence Team, the CORAF PAIRED Team (Maize Program), and the CORAF PAIRED Team (Rice Program) showcased groundbreaking research initiatives and advancements in the respective fields, encouraging discussions and knowledge sharing on the advancement of scientific research, technological adoption, and sustainable development in agriculture.
CORAF is an international non-profit association of national agricultural research systems (NARS) of 23 countries, covering over forty percent of Africa’s population, thus making it the largest sub-regional research organization on the African continent. It was created in 1987. Before that, most NARS were weak and had limited research capacities, and mostly worked in isolation. The main mandate assigned to CORAF then and now is to coordinate research and development activities in West and Central Africa.
The primary objective of CORAF is to improve livelihoods in West and Central Africa through sustainable improvements in agricultural production and productivity, as well as to promote competitiveness, and markets.
Source: Corporate Affairs Division: CSIR-Head Office, Accra