Develop Climate-smart Technologies To Improve Agriculture
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has urged Scientist in Ghana to develop technologies that will improve on-farm water storage and irrigation, access to crop varieties that are more tolerant of droughts and pests.
This according to the Ministry will improve yields and contribute massively to the food basket of the nation.
The Ministry indicated that continuous pest pressure in agricultural production is one of the complex effects of continued global warming, hence the need to use scientific tools to predict the arrival time and severity of pest are critical for its management.
The Ministry also challenge scientists to develop Climate-Smart technologies to build the resilience of our small-scale farmers.
Director of Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Dr Felicia Ansah-Amprofi made the remarks when she represented the sector Minister at the 16th Biennial Workshop of the Ghana Science Association (GSA) in Kumasi.
She revealed that Government in 2017 spent over Ghc 16 million to fight the infestation of Fall Army Worm (FAW) in the country to curtail the destruction of more hectares of maize and cowpea.
Dr Ansah-Amprofi also emphasized the need to adopt approaches to increase knowledge exchange and shared best practices on monitoring and evaluating early warning systems for pest and diseases with the potential for cross border application in the West Africa sub-region.
“The risk of zoonotic diseases needs to be managed, to limit contact between animals and humans in order to address the emerging climate-related disease burden”, she added.
She said Government will continue to create the enabling environment for science and technology to drive the economy.
The workshop which was on the theme “Combating Pests through Climate Smart Agriculture” brought together members of the GSA, some farmer groups, researchers and heads of Government Agencies.
Education Minister, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh called on corporate bodies, both within and outside Ghana to partner with the GSA with the view of sustaining an initiative aimed at dissemination of research findings, showcase technologies developed and addressing issues of national interest.
He added that the sponsorship support can help in supporting members of the GSA to carry out research activities in areas that are of national concern and relevant to the development of the nation.
Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Frimpong Boateng said Government is aware of the negative consequences of climate change and agricultural pests and has come out with Ghana National Climate Change Master Plan Action Programmes to be implemented between 2015 and 2020.
He indicated that Climate-smart agriculture calls for pest management that controls farm pests and diseases in a way that does not negatively affect ecosystem services and human health.
The Climate-smart pest management (CSPM), he explained is a cross-sectoral approach that aims to reduce pest-induced crop losses, enhance ecosystem services, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen the resilience of agricultural systems in the face of climate change.
“CSPM seeks to support farmers, extension workers, scientists and public and private sector stakeholders to act in coordination and at scale to reorient pest management approaches and develop an appropriate enabling environment to manage evolving climate change-induced pest threats and invasions more effectively,” he stated.
Head of Grants and Research at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Professor Robert Clement Abaidoo called on the Association disseminate their findings with the aim of improving science and technology as well improving livelihoods, policies and practice within the Ashanti region and beyond.