CSIR-CRI undertakes biotech project to fight FAW infestation

Fumesua (Ash)- The Crops Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-CRI), is developing an integrated agro-system to detect and manage fall armyworm (FAW) infestation in maize production in Ghana.

The two-year project, dubbed Push and Pull, is a collaborative work of the CRI and the Institute and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

It is part of a national agenda to improve significantly, maize cultivation, which accounts for more than fifty (50) per cent of the country’s total cereal production.

Dr. Stella Ama Ennin, Director of the Institute, speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), at Fumesua, in the Ejisu municipality after an inspection of the project, said the initiative was to bolster food security, while addressing the devastating effects of the FAW infestation.

The concept involves setting up pheromone traps as soon as maize is planted to detect the adult pest, a monitoring system is, then, put in place to search for eggs, larvae or maize plants showing signs of infestation.

Subsequently, all affected plants are then dealt with, using the right and recommended treatment formulae, including insecticide sprays.

The pests detected about two years ago, had since rapidly spread, causing destruction to more than 18, 000 hectares of maize.

Dr Ennin indicated that the green-striped caterpillar larvae of moths were devastating, because they tended to eat the reproductive parts of the plant and leaves.

CSIR-CRI being a member of the national taskforce to address the FAW infestation, would not relent in finding a remedy to keep farmers in business in order to improve their livelihood, she told the GNA.

The Institute, the foremost crops research-based establishment in sub-Saharan Africa had recently, been advocating the development and use of genetically-modified (GM) maize to stop the FAW infestation.

Research scientists attached to the CRI’s Biotechnology Research Programme (BRP) have argued that, genetically-modified maize with in-built disease-resistant genes had the potential to withstand the harmful effects of the pests.

In the western hemisphere, the most effective solution to contain this pest is still the use of transgenic plant varieties.

Stakeholders, ranging from agricultural researchers and scientists, farmers, plant breeders, farmers and food processors, traditional authorities, as well as agro industries took part in the inspection of the project.

The field trip was to keep the participants abreast with some of the CRI’s implementing projects on its farm stations, and how they related to the overall agricultural agenda of the nation.

It was in tandem with activities marking the sixty (60) years anniversary of the CSIR, and coincided with the ‘CRI 2018 Open Day’.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Government to improve road infrastructure for agricultural production

Accra� Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia says the road sector contributed to the challenges facing the agriculture sector and announced government’s plans to spend one billion dollars to construct critical roads nationwide.

The move, he said, would connect roads to agriculture producing areas across the country to facilitate easy transportation of goods and people.

The programme falls under the Sinohydro Corporation Financing Facility to ensure transportation of agriculture produce to the market centres to halt the perennial post-harvest losses.

The programme, he said, was at the heart of the Akufo-Addo’s Plan for Economic Transformation aimed at improving agricultural productivity.

Vice President Bawumia, speaking at the launch of the 34th edition of the National Farmers’ Day in Accra, on Friday, said there would be massive industrialisation and commercialisation drive by the government to stimulate agricultural investment to bolster production.

Agriculture-Moving Ghana beyond Aid is the theme chosen for this year’s farmers’ day celebration, which would be held in the Northern Regional Capital of Tamale in the first week of December,

The launch attracted key stakeholders in the agriculture sector including; Ministers of State, Members of Parliament, the Diplomatic Community, Development partners, sponsors of the event, directors and mangers of the sector ministries, as well as representatives of farmers and fishers.

Dr Bawumia said the government under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, through his vision of modernising and transforming agriculture, introduced a number of reforms last year, to improve the organisation of the celebration to give meaning to the occasion.

To that end, he said, a cash donation equivalent to US$100,000 would be presented to the best national farmer, to enable him or her to expand the agricultural business.

The Ghana beyond Aid espoused by President Nana Addo, the Vice President said called for action, and that the sector minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, had been charged to coordinate strategies of the 254 metropolitan, Municipal and district assemblies of their contribution towards the realisation of the vision.

Dr Bawumia said the agenda required quantitative and qualitative change in all aspects of the lives of Ghanaians, which required structural change in the national economy, especially the agricultural sector, macroeconomic stability, infrastructure development, digitisation and value-addition based economy, as well as a vibrant private sector, skilled-trained human resource and attitudinal change.

The aforementioned fundamentals, he said, were critical for the transformation and modernisation of the agricultural sector for economic growth.

He said agriculture was a key component of the Ghanaian economy, noting that, in 2017 the sector contributed 18.7 of the gross domestic product and recorded 8.4 per cent growth from less than four per cent recorded over the past decade.

Vice President Bawumia noted that the agricultural sector, which constituted about 46 per cent of the active population of the nation had been bedevilled with low productivity arising from low adoption of technologies such as improved seeds, fertilizers, poor infrastructure and lack of access to market, as well as high post-harvest losses.

According to the Malabo Declaration, agriculture was expected to grow by six per cent annually to impact significantly for sustainable development.

Vice President Bawumia, therefore, pledged government’s commitment to pursue well-formulated agriculture policies tailored to meet the needs of the sector to ensure optimum performance for expected benefit to the citizenry.

To that end, he said, the roll-out of the government policy -Planting for Food and Jobs was a practical demonstration of the government to revamp the agricultural sector to catalyse national development.

According to Dr Bawumia, since the implementation of the policy in 2017, it had given the sector a decisive impulse and ignited hope in the agriculture sector again.

He noted that evaluation of the programme showed that, significant progress had been made in meeting the objectives of the programme to ensure adequate availability of food and feed, provide job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth, increased productivity of the selected crops including maize, soya beans, sorghum, and vegetables.

The introduction of the policy, the Vice President said had created job opportunities for about 745,000 people and improved extension service delivery, greater seed production, access to the market and revitalisation of the National Buffer Stock Company.

This achievement has strengthened the conviction of government to advance the agenda of investing in agriculture as a basis propelling Ghana’s economy to prosperity, he added.

In view of the gains made so far, government had targeted 500,000 beneficiaries this year as against 200,000 in 2017 for support, and added other crops such as groundnut and cassava, and vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, cucumber and cabbage under the programme.

He said the 50 per cent fertilizer subsidy rolled-out last year would continue this year, adding that, government had started irrigation programme where 570 dams would be constructed under the One Village, One-Dam by the end of 2019 to bolster agriculture production.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Government to improve road infrastructure for agricultural production

Accra� Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia says the road sector contributed to the challenges facing the agriculture sector and announced government’s plans to spend one billion dollars to construct critical roads nationwide.

The move, he said, would connect roads to agriculture producing areas across the country to facilitate easy transportation of goods and people.

The programme falls under the Sinohydro Corporation Financing Facility to ensure transportation of agriculture produce to the market centres to halt the perennial post-harvest losses.

The programme, he said, was at the heart of the Akufo-Addo’s Plan for Economic Transformation aimed at improving agricultural productivity.

Vice President Bawumia, speaking at the launch of the 34th edition of the National Farmers’ Day in Accra, on Friday, said there would be massive industrialisation and commercialisation drive by the government to stimulate agricultural investment to bolster production.

Agriculture-Moving Ghana beyond Aid is the theme chosen for this year’s farmers’ day celebration, which would be held in the Northern Regional Capital of Tamale in the first week of December,

The launch attracted key stakeholders in the agriculture sector including; Ministers of State, Members of Parliament, the Diplomatic Community, Development partners, sponsors of the event, directors and mangers of the sector ministries, as well as representatives of farmers and fishers.

Dr Bawumia said the government under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, through his vision of modernising and transforming agriculture, introduced a number of reforms last year, to improve the organisation of the celebration to give meaning to the occasion.

To that end, he said, a cash donation equivalent to US$100,000 would be presented to the best national farmer, to enable him or her to expand the agricultural business.

The Ghana beyond Aid espoused by President Nana Addo, the Vice President said called for action, and that the sector minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, had been charged to coordinate strategies of the 254 metropolitan, Municipal and district assemblies of their contribution towards the realisation of the vision.

Dr Bawumia said the agenda required quantitative and qualitative change in all aspects of the lives of Ghanaians, which required structural change in the national economy, especially the agricultural sector, macroeconomic stability, infrastructure development, digitisation and value-addition based economy, as well as a vibrant private sector, skilled-trained human resource and attitudinal change.

The aforementioned fundamentals, he said, were critical for the transformation and modernisation of the agricultural sector for economic growth.

He said agriculture was a key component of the Ghanaian economy, noting that, in 2017 the sector contributed 18.7 of the gross domestic product and recorded 8.4 per cent growth from less than four per cent recorded over the past decade.

Vice President Bawumia noted that the agricultural sector, which constituted about 46 per cent of the active population of the nation had been bedevilled with low productivity arising from low adoption of technologies such as improved seeds, fertilizers, poor infrastructure and lack of access to market, as well as high post-harvest losses.

According to the Malabo Declaration, agriculture was expected to grow by six per cent annually to impact significantly for sustainable development.

Vice President Bawumia, therefore, pledged government’s commitment to pursue well-formulated agriculture policies tailored to meet the needs of the sector to ensure optimum performance for expected benefit to the citizenry.

To that end, he said, the roll-out of the government policy -Planting for Food and Jobs was a practical demonstration of the government to revamp the agricultural sector to catalyse national development.

According to Dr Bawumia, since the implementation of the policy in 2017, it had given the sector a decisive impulse and ignited hope in the agriculture sector again.

He noted that evaluation of the programme showed that, significant progress had been made in meeting the objectives of the programme to ensure adequate availability of food and feed, provide job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth, increased productivity of the selected crops including maize, soya beans, sorghum, and vegetables.

The introduction of the policy, the Vice President said had created job opportunities for about 745,000 people and improved extension service delivery, greater seed production, access to the market and revitalisation of the National Buffer Stock Company.

This achievement has strengthened the conviction of government to advance the agenda of investing in agriculture as a basis propelling Ghana’s economy to prosperity, he added.

In view of the gains made so far, government had targeted 500,000 beneficiaries this year as against 200,000 in 2017 for support, and added other crops such as groundnut and cassava, and vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, cucumber and cabbage under the programme.

He said the 50 per cent fertilizer subsidy rolled-out last year would continue this year, adding that, government had started irrigation programme where 570 dams would be constructed under the One Village, One-Dam by the end of 2019 to bolster agriculture production.

Source: Ghana News Agency

GHANA TO PARTICIPATE IN AFRICA-SINGAPORE BUSINESS FORUM

ACCRA– The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) will lead a 50 member business delegation to this year’s Africa-Singapore Business Forum (ASBF) to be held in the Asian financial hum on Aug 28 and 29, says GIPC Chief Executive Officer Yofi Grant.

He disclosed this when Ian Lee, the Regional Director of Enterprise Singapore for the Middle East and Africa, called on him here Thursday. Lee is in Accra on behalf of the organizers to invite Grant to address this year’s forum and sell Ghana’s investments and trade opportunities to the world.

Grant recalled that Ghana and Singapore had enjoyed good bilateral relations for many years and officials from the two countries continue to co-operate in many areas of mutual benefits, including capacity-building and training, education and economic policy-making.

The ASBF, which would be organized by Enterprise Singapore, seeks to bring together close to over 2,000 businesses and government leaders from 30 countries. Participants are expected to develop opportunities and partnerships between Africa and Asia.

Grant noted that as at the end of March 2018, the centre had registered 42 projects from Singapore with an estimated value of 1.5 billion US dollars. Ghana stood the chance of networking with over 500 business leaders from top companies in Singapore at the forum, he added.

During the meeting, Ghanaian businesses would have the opportunity to interact on one on one basis as well as listen to top minds from public and the private sector, he added.

Grant noted that Singapore was one of the top notch countries in the manufacturing of chocolates and with Ghana being one of the major cocoa producing countries, Ghana stood the chance of benefiting from Singapore in that respect.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

GHANA TO PARTICIPATE IN AFRICA-SINGAPORE BUSINESS FORUM

ACCRA– The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) will lead a 50 member business delegation to this year’s Africa-Singapore Business Forum (ASBF) to be held in the Asian financial hum on Aug 28 and 29, says GIPC Chief Executive Officer Yofi Grant.

He disclosed this when Ian Lee, the Regional Director of Enterprise Singapore for the Middle East and Africa, called on him here Thursday. Lee is in Accra on behalf of the organizers to invite Grant to address this year’s forum and sell Ghana’s investments and trade opportunities to the world.

Grant recalled that Ghana and Singapore had enjoyed good bilateral relations for many years and officials from the two countries continue to co-operate in many areas of mutual benefits, including capacity-building and training, education and economic policy-making.

The ASBF, which would be organized by Enterprise Singapore, seeks to bring together close to over 2,000 businesses and government leaders from 30 countries. Participants are expected to develop opportunities and partnerships between Africa and Asia.

Grant noted that as at the end of March 2018, the centre had registered 42 projects from Singapore with an estimated value of 1.5 billion US dollars. Ghana stood the chance of networking with over 500 business leaders from top companies in Singapore at the forum, he added.

During the meeting, Ghanaian businesses would have the opportunity to interact on one on one basis as well as listen to top minds from public and the private sector, he added.

Grant noted that Singapore was one of the top notch countries in the manufacturing of chocolates and with Ghana being one of the major cocoa producing countries, Ghana stood the chance of benefiting from Singapore in that respect.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK