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06.12.2005 Regional News

Agric. research institutions called to developed dynamic network

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Accra, Dec.6, GNA -Dr. Clement Etsua-Mensah, Director of the Institute for Scientific and Technological Information (INSTI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Tuesday called for the need for agricultural research institutions to develop an effective, efficient and dynamic research network to gather and share information.

Speaking at a two-day national workshop on the promotion of cooperation between the agricultural research and development stakeholders in Ghana, Dr Etsua-Mensah said technical means should also be developed to facilitate information exchanges and enhance collaboration between various stakeholders.

The workshop, organised by INSTI in collaboration with West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) brought together about 40 participants drawn from agricultural research institutions throughout the country and stakeholders of the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) of Ghana.

Participants would be introduced to the concepts of CORAF/WECARD and their role in the development of agricultural research and development activities in the sub-region, regional and international levels.

CORAF/WECARD is composed of 21 NARS of West and Central Africa and is mandated to implement the sub-regional agricultural research policies defined by the political authorities of countries whose institutions are members. It has its headquarters in Dakar, Senegal. Dr Etsua-Mensah said CORAF/WECARD had a lot to offer to the agricultural research institutions and urged participants to ensure that they were registered in the sub-regional electronic platform for distance learning and establish collaboration amongst them. "You should also ensure the establishment of exchange forum for the various stakeholders of agricultural research development and make it operational".

Mr Dady Demby, Information and Communication Manager of CORAF/WECARD listed increasing productivity of land and labour using high technologies to attain at least six per cent annual growth and improving the production systems as some of the major challenges facing the association.

Other major challenges, he said, were rekindling market orientation of agricultural produce, appropriate technology transfer, reversing the devastating consequences of infectious diseases on production and developing human and institutional capacity.

He said CORAF/WECARD would respond to concerns of improving the quality and competitiveness of research activities.