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General News of Monday, 20 November 2000

Source: Accra Mail

United States And Ghana In Agriculture Development

The U.S. government has made $450,000 available to the Ghana government to strengthen the private sector in agricultural production. This came to light at the first meeting of the U.S.- Ghana Consultative Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (CCARD) in Accra.

The purpose for the committee is to develop bilateral relations between the Ministry of Agriculture and the United States Department for Agriculture, and a formal venue for high-level discussion on matters of mutual interest relating to agriculture. A memorandum of understanding establishing the terms of reference of the committee was signed by the two countries at the end of the meeting. The U. S. Ambassador to Ghana, Kathryn Dee Robinson, in her closing remarks said CCARD calls for meetings to be held twice a year, which she hoped would be adhered to in the interest of promoting growth in the respective economies.

She said the committee would add a valuable dimension to the bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Ghana. The Deputy Secretary for USDA, James Schroeder said the department is ready to work with Ghana in pursuing structural reforms in the field of agriculture. According to him, it will create conditions conducive for growth and enhance productivity for the population in general. Briefing the press after the ceremony, Dr. Samuel K. Dapaah, Chief Director, Ministry of Agriculture said the strengthening of institutional reforms will help the country to develop properly in terms of agriculture.

Ambassador Dee Robinson gave closing remarks at another agricultural conference in Accra last week under the theme: Enabling Biotechnology for African Agriculture which was an outgrowth of the fifth African-African American summit held in 1999. She said that the concept of biotechnology if properly managed presents the world with unprecedented opportunities to improve crop production. This, she said, will enhance nutrition, reduce pesticides and also protect the environment. Professor Alfred Oteng-Yeboah, Deputy Director General, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research addressing a press conference said plans are advanced to bring all sectors that help in biotechnology together.