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Ghana set to promote agricultural production through science

By
Lydia Asamoah, GNA

Accra, July 15, GNA – A
national consultative workshop on developing a roll-out plan for the
implementation of the Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa (S3A) to help
transform the agricultural sector, through science has been held in Accra.

The S3A, an initiative
designed under the auspices of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
(FARA), and sanctioned by the African Union Commission and NEPAD Agency in 2012
has the vision for science-driven transformation of Africa’s agriculture.

S3A is also regarded
as the “game–changer for the Continent’s agricultural transformation agenda,
and its implementation within the countries would create favourable policy
environment for science, enhance capacity strengthening mechanisms, promote
financing arrangements, and support innovation platforms in advancing
agricultural transformation. 

Ghana is among the first
five model countries including, Rwanda, Senegal, Egypt and Malawi, that have
been selected to pilot the S3A initiative to ensure the application of science
in transforming agriculture to help achieve the vision that states that “By
2030, Africa is food secured, a global scientific player, and the world’s
breadbasket”.

Therefore, the
consultative workshop, attended by professionals and experts in science and
applied sciences, at the four-day workshop which ended on Friday, was to
discuss and roll-out an implementation that would allow science drive
agriculture in Ghana.

Mr George Oduro,
Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture who read the speech on behalf of Dr
Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the sector Minister, said the S3A was a long-term
strategic framework that consisted mainly of the range of science and
technology opportunities available to bring about agricultural transformation
in Africa.

He said the Agenda
also aimed at enhancing the wealth creation potential of agriculture on the
continent and strengthening Africa’s capacity to feed itself and the rest of
the world through world-class research and technology generation.

He explained that the
consultative meeting would therefore help come out with modalities for the
mainstreaming of the science agenda by institutions that implemented
agricultural development programmes in the country. 

Mr Oduro said the
realisation of the Agenda depended of effective domestication of the frameworks
agenda into national strategies, investment plans and action plans giving the
uniqueness of the contexts, challenges, opportunities and priorities of African
countries, including Ghana.

He said countries
needed to be supported to drive the process of adapting the agenda to their
context, especially in the development and implementation processes and working
modalities in order to make the domestication of the S3A effective.

“This consultation
will build into the social marketing of the S3A so that farmers, agro
processors, and rural entrepreneurs come closer to science, as the processes of
science become more appealing as the key strategy to inclusive leap-frogging of
economies at the grass-root”, he added.

Dr Victor Agyeman,
Director General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR),
which hosted the consultative workshop said the UN had indicated that Africa’s
Agribusiness industry would be worth $ 1 trillion by 2030 and so by all
standards, agribusiness was on the path of becoming the new oil on the
continent.

He said it was
therefore appropriate that African countries prepared themselves to embrace the
opportunity to grow their agricultural sector.  

Dr Irene Annor
Frimpong, Director, Research and innovations for FARA said the initiative was
also aiming at doubling agricultural productivity in Africa by 2025.

She said the science
agenda had been developed to stimulate Africa’s agricultural transformation
through deepening the application of science at a fast rate in such a way that
Africa was able to transform quickly.

“Now the world is
growing so fast that we need to speed up Africa’s development and the pace at
which we need to speed it up is such that we cannot do it in any other way but
to apply science.”

GNA

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