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Give Agriculture more support – Researchers to Government

Bolgatanga, July 28,
GNA – Dr Roger Kanton, the Upper East Regional Co-ordinator of the Centre for
Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and Savanna Agricultural Research
Institute (SARI), has called on Government to give the agriculture industry the
needed support.

This, he said would
make the sector vibrant to effectively serve its purpose.

He said even though
agriculture had a good potential to sufficiently feed the people of Ghana and
earn income from the export of the many products that could be produced in the
country, it was being under exploited and given little attention.

 Dr Kanton said this at a Research, Extension
and Farmer Linkage Committee (RELC) planning session in Bolgatanga to review
last year’s activities and to plan for this year.

It attracted
Agricultural Researchers, Agricultural Officers and farmers.

 He said the RELC was initiated from 1992 and
1993 and had proven by all standards to be the best way to support agriculture
in Ghana, “Unfortunately, funding has been problematic, we always depend on
donors,” he said.

He said the RELC could
transform the country’s agricultural production and appealed to the government
to fund the sector, saying it was not appropriate to montage the livelihood of
Ghanaians to external donors.

The Research fellow
suggested the establishment of a Ghana Agricultural Services Division, similar
to the Ghana Health Services (GHS) and the Ghana Education Service (GES),
devoid of political interference.

“So I am calling on
Ghanaian agriculturalists, and it should be championed by the Ministry of Food
and Agriculture (MOFA) Directorates and the Chief Director of MOFA, to let us
have a purely technical wing of MOFA called Ghana Agricultural Services
Division that should be devoid of any political interference so that when
projects come, they will run them,” he said.   

According to him, such
an establishment would churn out technical people to man the affairs of the
sector with technical and policy support from the MOFA.

Reverend John Manu,
Regional Director of Agriculture said the RELC was a vital activity in the
programmes of MOFA and the Department of Agriculture, as its inception had
brought solutions to some researchable issues farmers faced.

He said gone were the
days when researchers would come out with research findings and leave them on
the shelves to gather dust.

“This platform is
strengthening the linkage between researchers, extension officers and farmers,
and had also granted stakeholders an opportunity to present issues pertaining
to the development of the agricultural sector thus enhancing food production
and productivity,” he said.

Reverend Manu, who is
also the Chairman of the RELC, appreciated the support of Canada for the
Modernisation of Agriculture in Ghana programme that had revived the RELC and
the agricultural sector.

GNA

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