Food insecurity: agric sector urged to leverage scientific innovations


The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, has argued that food insecurity  concerns can be effectively addressed if the agricultural sector harnesses scientific advancements and innovative approaches to revolutionise food production.

This, he said, will enable the sector to produce more, reduce losses, improve productivity and enhance livelihoods.

He noted that by empowering farmers with scientific know-how and modern agricultural practices, the country can elevate livelihoods, improve food security and attain sustainable development.

“The role of science and technology in advancing agricultural production cannot be overemphasised. We must harness the power of scientific advancement to enable our farmers to produce more, reduce losses improve productivity and enhance livelihoods. Let us embrace the power of science, technology, and innovation to revolutionise agriculture and pave the way for a brighter future,” he said.

According to data released by Government Statistician Samuel Kobina Annim, annual inflation accelerated to 42.5 percent in June – up from 42.2 percent in May. The increase in inflation was primarily driven by surging food prices.

Although food prices have been on a downward trend on the global market for more than a year now, domestic food prices continue to skyrocket.

In view of this, Dr. Afriyie stressed that food insecurity and cost are significant concerns that need urgent attention.

He made the call at the 34th ordinary session of the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF) Board of Directors meeting, hosted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Ghana.

The event brought together academia, researchers, policymakers and private institutions from across Africa to discuss matters surrounding science, technology and innovation in agriculture.

“It is therefore incumbent upon us as member-countries to create an enabling environment that encourages the adoption of scientific knowledge and technological advancements in Ghana.

“I call upon all stakeholders present here today – representing academia, research institutions, governmental bodies and private sector entities – to join hands and collaborate in our pursuit of agricultural excellence. Let us foster partnerships, share knowledge and facilitate the transfer of technology to ensure that our farmers have access to the tools and techniques they need to thrive. It is through these collective efforts that we can secure a sustainable future for our nation and the generations to come,” he added.

He further commended CORAF for playing a key role in the areas of agricultural research and development in the sub-region, where it has shown greater leadership by supporting member-countries.

“In Ghana, for instance, the agricultural sector employs 38.3 percent of the workforce and contributes about 20 percent to national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Indeed, we cannot turn around our story if we do not play an active role or invest in research and innovation,” said Minister of Food and Agriculture, Bryan Acheampong.

On his part, the Executive Director of CORAF, Dr. Abdou Tenkouano, applauded the CSIR’s efforts to transform the food processing space. He further urged them to embrace capacity-building steps so as to ensure continuity.

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