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General News of Wednesday, 31 December 2003

Source: GNA

First Agricultural station celebrates anniversary

Nungua-Madina, Dec. 31, GNA - The Agricultural Research Station at Legon, the first of the three research stations of the University of Ghana to be established, has celebrated its 50th Anniversary. Addressing researchers, students, chiefs and the people, Prof. Ofori Sarpong, Pro-Vice Chancellor of he University of Ghana said the youth should engage in farming as a commercial venture.

Prof. Ofori Sarpong said much had been achieved through the research activities of the station and therefore, commended the station for its great contribution in the teaching and training and promotion in livestock and poultry production.

He also commended the station on its contribution towards the current Peri-urban dairy work being implemented by Ministry of Food and Agriculture as well as dry season feeding strategies and the use of agricultural by-products for feeding livestock.

He said the University would purchase laboratory equipment of about 200 million cedis from the GETFund to enhance the work of the station. He commended the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture for her efforts in the collaboration of the faculty with international organisations in Japan, USA and Europe concerning funding for research.

He said efforts were being made to upgrade the research stations into an Agricultural Research Institute of the University of Ghana. He commended the organisers for the Leventis Foundation Farmers Training Programme for their great contribution.

Dr. Tsatsu Adogla Bessa, officer in-charge of the station said the station has gone through many changes and has played a leading role in livestock, poultry and forage research in and outside the country. Dr Adogla Bessa said the station had made a remarkable impact in the training of students, extension work with livestock and poultry farmers and in consultancy services.

He talked of lack of tractors, a dairy unit for the supply of milk, a hatchery, a feedmill and an irrigation infrastructure and appealed to the government and NGOs for assistance.

He commended the 14th batch trainees of the Leventis Foundation Farmers Training organisers for their contribution.

Dr Anatolio Ndongmba, FAO Representative in Ghana and FAO Deputy Regional Representative for Africa commended the University and the Faculty of Agriculture and the research stations in the training of farmers and the youth in commercial farming.

Dr Ndongmba said that was a positive way to train the people for the socio-economic development of the country.

He said the FAO is looking for a close collaboration between the University and the Faculty in their training activities.

The Chairman of the occasion Professor Anna Barnes thanked the organisers of the Leventis Training Programme and all NGOS for their assistance and urged the researchers and the students to continue to work hard.