Sunday, August 28, 2011

Experts Call for Research into Agriculture

Francis Npong, Tamale

Agricultural experts at a two-day training workshop on food security have called for a well research into disease resistance and high yielding food crops to serve the nation from the looming famine.

According to the experts, food production in the country was diminishing steadily because some food crops could not withstand new generation of crop diseases which would need a well research to serve local farmers from calamities.

“Climate change is adding new dimension to the failing agriculture and has tendency to reduce food production by 67 per cent”, they observed.

They observed that if Ghana failed to develop new technologies through research the country is likely to suffer from extreme famine in the near future.

“Our farmers are continually relying on disease prone local grains”.
It is against this background that they have recommended joint research effort between the government and crop seeds production institutions to come out with high yielding, diseases resistance and short period fruiting crops to enable farmers cope with the climate change effects.

The workshop which was organized by Community Life Improvement Programme (CLIP), a local NGO championing climate change campaign in northern region was aimed to develop strategies that would help ensure food security in the wake of climate change.

The participants include Agricultural extension agents,  agric and climate change experts, seed production institutions, NGOs in Agriculture, environment and climate change among others deliberated on climate change and coping strategies for local farmers.

It was also used to discuss issues affecting food security in Ghana and how to mitigate effects of climate change on agric to ensure sustained food supply in the country.

Speaking in an interview with the Enquirer, CLIP personnel in-charge of Food and Security Mr. Lukman Yussif explained that the workshop was parts of efforts to improve food production.

It was also to help prepare local farmers against climate change and adopt coping strategies to sustain food production and supply throughout the country.

He explained that research show that food production particularly rice and maize has reduced significantly for the past two years because of non availability of improved seeds, coupled with emergence of climate change hence the need for the country to prepare her farmers against effects of climate change.

He observed with concerns that majority of farmers were planting un-improved seeds or seeds which qualities could not be determining coupled with unavaibility of farm inputs dwindling food production.

He however appealed to the government to ensure that crop seeds supply to farmers are satisfied, diseases resistance, and high yielding to ensure continue supply of food in the country. 

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