Ministry to lead research technology distribution

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has vowed to step up efforts at assisting farmers to gain access to technologically-improved seeds and planting materials.

Mr. Clement Humado, the Minister, said the goal was to boost crop yield to enhance national food security and agricultural colleges and the demonstration and research field stations across the country would now be used as seed multiplication centres.

He was speaking at the opening of a “Technology dissemination action plan workshop” in Kumasi.

The three-day programme is being organized by the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Project (WAAPP) to develop workable action plans to speed up the transfer of generated technologies to farmers.

Research scientists from the universities, research institutions,district agriculture directors, extension officers and agricultural communication specialists are attending.

Mr. Humado said in spite of achievements of the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) in the development of proven agricultural technologies, the rate of adoption by farmers remained low.

The result, he said, is that productivity at the farmer level had been poor relative to reported yields on researcher-managed fields and this should change.

He said the practice where over the years, the multiplication of quality seeds and planting materials had been left in the hands of the private sector had not delivered as efficiently as expected.

To reverse this trend, the Ministry has been actively involved to complement the private sector to ensure that farmers everywhere had access to high yielding seeds and planting materials.

Mr. Humado urged the participants not to lose sight of the value chain approach and nucleus-out grower farm model in promoting selected commodities since it provided real opportunity for technology transfer and adoption, financing, marketing and value addition.

He commended research scientists on the project for breeding root and tuber crops with useful biological traits including high yields and urged them to continue to develop more technologies taking into consideration climate change scenarios that posed serious challenge to farmers and sustainable livelihoods.

Dr. Mrs Rose Emma M. Entsua-Mensah, the Deputy Director General of the
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), said dissemination of proven agricultural technologies to farmers had been the bane to the nation’s food security efforts.

She called on the government to strengthen the extension services machinery to promote efficient dissemination of research knowledge and information to farmers. GNA

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