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12.02.2010 Business & Finance

CSIR calls for public-private partnership

By GNA
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CSIR calls for public-private partnership
February 11, 2010
Accra, Feb. 11, GNA - A call has been made for public-private partnership in enhancing the research outputs of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to help maximise their benefits.

Ms. Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, who made the call on Thursday, said the CSIR was currently at the forefront of providing sustainable basis for Ghana's food production and security.

She explained that this would be through the development of high yielding and pest resistant crop varieties to improve the national income, create jobs and wealth.

Ms. Ayittey, who was addressing the media at the Ministry of Information's Meet-the Press series in Accra, said without investment, the numerous revealing research ideas and findings would remain on the shelves.

She called on the private sector to partner with the Council to help improve agriculture and agro-processing through technology.

Ms. Ayittey said the Council, which had 13 specialised research institutes including those of soil, water, crop, plant genetic resources, forestry, animal and oil palm, had over the years developed interesting technologies for local agro-processing.

Ms. Ayittey said such technologies were being used by companies such as the Neat Foods Limited, Elsa Foods Limited, Flokan Foods Limited, Pioneer Foods Cannery Limited, Ghana Agro-Food Company Limited and Blue Skies.

The Minister said CSIR had also provided training for personnel of such companies, undertaken chemical and microbiological analysis of their products as well as fabricating the appropriate machinery and equipment to help them meet market competition.

Ms. Ayittey mentioned the manufacturing and the establishment of processing plants for cassava production in various communities in the country to help in alleviating poverty and improving livelihoods in these areas.

She cited plants at Amanase, near Suhum, and Adidwan, near Ashanti Mampong, as clear testimonies of such technological advancements.

Ms. Ayittey said in the Greater Accra, Eastern, Brong-Ahafo and Northern regions, pilot plants for solar and gas-fired cabinet driers to dehydrate fruits, grains, cassava chip, sorghum malt, cowpea and winged beans, had been installed as models for dissemination of the technology.

"The CSIR has developed as mechanised palm kernel separator which replaces existing traditional method of separation that involved the use of clay sludge. The technology will reduce drudgery and increase productivity in palm kernel processing," she said.

Ms. Ayittey indicated that poultry, grasscutter rearing, aquaculture, cotton development had seen extended through the application of such technologies and said that these efforts could not be sustained without private sector involvement and investment.

She said government had constituted an inter-ministerial team to ensure the utilisation of local raw materials such as bamboo in the building and construction industry to help minimise pressure and demand for timber.

The Council has currently reclaimed over 250 hectares of degraded forests in 10 local communities in the Afrensu Brohuma forest reserve, Pamu Berekum forest reserve and the Southern Scrap forest reserve for its reaforestation project, but needed more support and collaboration to bring its numerous programmes and projects into reality.

GNA

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