Government efforts to ensure food security in Ghana has failed to yield results as the country continue to import some staple foods from neighbouring nations.
A 2003 research on food security trends in Ghana had shown that there has been a decline in the production of some major staples and other agricultural commodities.
Mr Collins Tay National President of the Research Scientist Association (RSA) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) said this when he addressed the 26th Annual General Meeting RSA of the CSIR.
It was on the theme: “Innovation within the Food Industry: Attaining Food Security in a challenging economy.’’
According to him the Food sector is no doubt the biggest industrial sector in any economy and is also considered key in the creation of jobs.
The average population growth in the sector is about 23.8 per cent and this is not keeping pace with the average population growth rate of 3.2 per cent.
With Africa contribution to world trade less than two per cent suggest that Ghana’s contribution is almost zero.
Mr Tay said countries that support scientific research have a direct bearing on their economic emancipation.
He noted that the establishment of the CSIR to provide the vehicle for accelerated growth and transformation of the Ghanaian economy through the application of modern science and technology during the First Republic is still relevant.
The CSIR though has chalked out many successes have been accused of shelving research findings and not interacting with the public.
Mr Tay expressed the hope that that perception would become a thing of the past through utilisation of research findings.
He said for CSIR to churn out scientific research results it needs to be adequately resourced to fund research activities as well as promote it.
Mr Tay said one of the greatest threat to the existence of CSIR is the encroachment of its land saying: “Every available space belonging to the CSIR throughout the country seem to be currently facing some level of encroachment and in some cases encroachers have taken CSIR to court.’’
He therefore tasked management to work assiduously to regain those lands and cautioned encroachers to stay off CSIR land.
On non-payment of terminal benefit for CSIR staff, Mr Tay said it is a serious neglect and called on management and the sector ministry to restore it to all retired staff as early as possible.
With accreditation granted the CSIR to start the CSIR College of Science and Technology, he called on the management to take steps to kick the graduate school next years.
Mr Tay called on government to make available the functional Research Fund, which it promised since its assumption in office to enable scientist in research institutions, universities and polytechnics design proposals tailored to the developmental agenda of the country.