To fight diseases, control of insect pests
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture(MOFA) has signed two Memorandums of Understanding with the University of Ghana(UG) towards the fight against pests and other crop related diseases in the country.
The agreements cover both the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Division of the Ministry and the Quality Control Division of COCOBOD
The University is expected to provide services to the Ministry in relations to surveillance and control of insect pests, as part of initiative by MOFA to reduce the effects of insects and other diseases on food crops.
The programme will be executed by the African Regional Postgraduate Programme in Insect Science(ARPIS) of the University of Ghana with support from the Dutch Embassy.
Funding is being provided by the Dutch Government through a special partnership with MoFA.
According to the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, a successful implementation of the agreement will help reduce incidents of poor food quality for both local and international markets, whilst paving way for Ghana to resume the exportation of food crops to the major foreign markets.
He lamented that the country is losing lots of revenue as a result of the ban which he partially attributed to the inability of the PPRSD to perform its role as the ‘biological police’ in the country.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture of Ghana further observed that the MOU will aslo enhance the position of Ghana as the producer of the most quality cocoa seeds in the world.
Hon. Dr. Afriyie Akoto therefore expressed the commitment of MOFA to the partnership, stressing that the ministry will readily avail itself for the opportunity.
He further opined that the collaboration between the Ministry and the academia will go a long way to benefit the country.
On his part, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, said the agreement was in fulfilment of the role of the university as the hub of knowledge and expertise.
He said the University was ready to offer full support to Government in all endeavours, adding that the institution has enough human resource capacity to put at the disposal of all other ministries that may need their services.
Prof. Oduro Owusu hailed the MOU as a significant milestone and commended the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, for his vision and the laudable initiative.
He further pledged the University’s readiness to partner government in the implementation of the flagship Planting for Food and Jobs policy.