Published: 21 Apr 2017 Source: University Relations Office (URO)
The Ghana Science Association (GSA) in collaboration with College of Science has held a research seminar and poster presentation on the theme “Achieving Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security through Science and Technology” at the Allotey Auditorium. The idea behind the event is to give scientists in the Ashanti Region the opportunity to disseminate their research findings to other scientists and the general public.
Dr. Nathaniel Owusu Boadi, President, GSA, Kumasi Branch noted that the theme was very relevant and in order to achieve sustainable agriculture, we should have fertile soils and abundant water. He continued that our water bodies have been severely affected by the activities of the ‘galamsey’ miners. In addition to this, indiscriminate felling of trees in our forest reserves is also a major contributor to the drying of rivers and streams. He stated that the above activities have contributed to the change in the rainfall pattern in Ghana and farmers are no longer able to predict the rains to start planting. This could lead to famine since most of our farmers are at the mercy of the rains. He believes that the government’s decision to establish a dam in every village under the ‘One Village, One Dam Project’ will increase crop production in the country.
Dr. Owusu Boadi added that vegetables harvested as well as other foodstuffs get destroyed at source because they are not sold on time to consumers. Farmers lack storage facilities and this sometimes discourages them from farming which makes them fall prey to artisanal gold miners as they sell their lands to them. He was of the view that as government plans to set up a factory in every district under its ‘One District, One Factory Project’, crops harvested in these districts would be processed and this would solve the problem of post-harvest losses and also motivate farmers to cultivate in large quantities.
Honourable Osei Assibey Antwi, Mayor of Kumasi, stated that achieving sustainable agriculture would contribute to the fundamentals of the sustainable development goals which are reducing extreme poverty, hunger and promote health and wellbeing. These targets are incidentally the sustainable development goals set up by the United Nations. He further explained that Science and Technology could provide the right techniques in agriculture, forestry and fisheries all geared towards supplying nutritious foods for all and also generate decent incomes while supporting rural development and protecting the environment as targeted by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).
He indicated that it was one of the strategies of the current government to promote agriculture as enshrined in the sector minister’s famous ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ expected to be achieved by the governments ‘One Village, One Dam’ and ‘One District, One Factory’ policies. He therefore called on the scientists, technologist and engineers to provide technical support in the implementation of the developmental goals.