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Business News of Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Source: GNA

Africa needs to pull together to promote agricultural growth

Agricultural research scientists in Africa have been urged to establish stronger linkages and share ideas and expertise to tackle challenges impeding the growth of the agriculture sector.

Professor Seth Kofi Akyea Danso, a member of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, said collaborative efforts through workshops and other forums were needed to address the post-harvest losses, low productivity, hunger, outmoded farming methods and low adoption rate of technology.

He warned that it would be difficult to achieve food sufficiency for the continent in the wake of the changing climatic conditions and fast growing population unless the researchers accepted to pull their resources together.

Prof. Danso said this when addressing the opening session of a three-day regional workshop on root and tuber crops at the Crop Research Institute (CRI) at Fumesua, in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality.

The workshop is being organized jointly by the Food and Agriculture Ministry and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and “Enhancing food security and regional integration through agricultural research and development”, is its theme.

Prof Danso said the roots and tubers had the potential to prevent extreme hunger and poverty, adding that they could create employment for the people through value addition.

Those crops, he said, had for many years been used for varied purposes and could be grown on larger scales for both local and international consumption.

He expressed discomfort with the inability of Africa to feed its own people, relying mostly on food imports saying to end this trend would require making the right investment in the sector.

Dr Abdullai Baba Salifu, Director-General of the CSIR, encouraged the CRI to continue to work hard to develop improved crop varieties for local consumption.

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