FAO donates to Ministry of Food and Agriculture

Accra- The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on Wednesday donated agricultural equipment to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) to enhance agricultural development in the country.

The items are laboratory coats, seed trays, personal protective equipment, digital grain moisture analyzer, tarpaulins, weighing scale and sampling bags.

The rest are digital camera and educational materials, flyer on signs and symptoms of Fall Army Worm (FAW) and poster on signs and symptoms of FAW.

The items are to support seed testing under the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ (PFJ) while the educational books are to help in the management and control of FAW.

Dr Abebe Haile-Gabriel, the Assistant Director General and FAO Representative for Africa, who presented the items, commended government for prioritizing the development and transformation of agriculture in the country.

He said to improve the seed sector, there was the need to ensure that seeds produced met the minimum quality standards before it went into the hands of farmers for further cultivation.

This, Dr Haile-Gabriel said, should be backed by regular field inspections of seed producers and laboratory analysis to test the quality.

He said government’s agricultural policies like PFJ had resulted in bumper harvest and some foodstuffs such as maize, sorghum and cowpea exported to neighbouring countries.

“FAO has supported in providing technical assistance to the Ministry, help government’s PFJ initiative in building institutional capacity within the seed sector, value addition to farm produce and marketing and promoting e-agriculture,” he added.

Dr Haile-Gabriel was confident that the PFJ initiative would promote sustainable food production and job creation in empowering livelihoods and safeguarding food and nutritional security.

He stated that Ghana was among few countries that had prioritized agriculture which yielded practical outcomes, adding that the African Continental Free Trade Area would help facilitate trade in the region.

He called for the need to build a business model based on viable agricultural chain for sustained development in the sector.

Dr Gyeile Nurah, the Minister of State in-charge of Agriculture, who received the equipment thanked FAO for the initiative to help develop agriculture in the country.

He said government realized that only 11 per cent of farmers use quality seed, hence the need to intensify campaign on quality seed to increase production.

He said the equipment would help the Ministry to produce more quality seeds and fight the menace of FAW.

Dr Felicia Ansah-Amprofi, Director, Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate, MOFA, pledged to use the equipment for its intended purposes.

Source: Ghana News Agency