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Govt urged to give priority to science research

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Accra, Dec. 8, GNA - Dr Felix Ofori Annor-Nyako, Acting Deputy Director-General of the Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries Sector of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), on Thursday urged the Government to give priority to science research since it was the bedrock for the development of every nation.

He noted that the country could only achieve the developmental goals set for it if the Government were committed and researchers had all the facilities to work with within a motivated environment. "Though the Government has shown commitment to research, the funding is low, making most of our researches donor funded." Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview, Dr Annor-Nyako said the country had highly trained researchers, who were proactive but inadequate funding was impinging on their activities. He said the nature of research is such that it would not meet international standards if enough funds were not put into it. He said though Ghanaian researchers could meet the standards of others in research institutions worldwide they lacked the materials like chemicals and modern equipment to work with.

He said there was also the need for researchers to be frequently trained to update their knowledge so that they could compete with their colleagues elsewhere.

"Research is dynamic and researchers must always update their knowledge to enable them to meet international standards adding: "Supporting staff and technicians should not be left out but trained as well."

Dr Annor-Nyako said the issue of brain drain had not only been a headache to the medical field but also to the research institutions. He said most of the researchers had left either to teach in the universities where they were better paid or further their training while others had also left to seek greener pastures abroad.

He explained that Research Extension Farmer Linkage Committees had been established in all the regions to give technologies to farmers, who might need them.

"We have formed good cooperation among all stakeholders and we do involve farmers at the district levels even during our research, right from the initial stage because they also have innovative ideas that we could also tap."

Dr Annor-Nyako said Ghana's researches were demand-driven and what was lacking was taking the findings to those who need them. "It is not our responsibility to take the findings to our users. They should rather come to us asking, but if the Ministry of Food and Agriculture should train their extension officers to liaise with those in need of the findings, most of these problems would be solved". He called for the improvement in conditions of service for agriculture researchers to motivate and encourage them to stay in the country and work for the benefit of the nation.

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