Female tertiary students in the biological and allied sciences have been urged to pursue careers in plant pathology to enable them to play leading roles in forest management and the drive towards national food security.
Dr. Mrs. Mary M. Apetorgbor, Forest Pathologist at the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), said the lack of interest in that area of study among young science students, particularly females, must radically change.
She was speaking at a modeling event held to create awareness and stir up students’ interests in plant pathology – the study of plant diseases caused by pathogens and unfavourable environmental conditions.
It was organized by the FORIG in collaboration with the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) and the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
Dr Mrs Apetorgbor noted that the number of agricultural and forest pathologists in the country was not only limited but aging, a situation she said was troubling and gave cause for concern.
She made reference to climate change and its adverse effects on plants by way of diseases and said there was the need to have more plant doctors to assist in protecting agricultural crops and forest tree plantations.
Dr. Mrs. Apetorgbor also highlighted the career opportunities that existed for plant pathologists in organizations including the universities, research institutions, agricultural consultancy services, Environmental Protection Agency, Plant Health Inspection Services and Biological Control Policies among others.
The Director of FORIG, Dr Victor Agyeman, advised the students to take their studies seriously. GNA