The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana, will host a high-level consultative meeting from April 21-24 in Accra to develop a compelling case for investments in rice, maize, soybean, cowpea, cassava and the tomato value-chain.
The three-day programme aims to enhance agribusinesses to ensure Ghana’s food security and socio-economic development.
The WACCI (http://www.wacci.ug.edu.gh) is a notable World Bank Africa Centre of Excellence for Agricultural Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Ghana and one of the finest institutions globally for training plant breeders at the PhD level.
Professor Eric Danquah, the Founding Director of WACCI, in a pre-conference briefing, said the billions of dollars spent on importation of seed, feed, food and raw materials were wasteful and could be used in other important areas of the economy for sustainable development.
Current developments globally are warning signals that no nation should continue to rely on food imports, he said.
Prof Danquah, also the 2018 Laureate, Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for Agricultural and Life Sciences (GCHERA) World Agriculture Prize, said Ghana needed an independent instructive document informed by evidence and foresight to chart a new path in its agriculture for food security and socio-economic development.
He said there was urgent need for sustainable intensification driven by home grown genetic innovation for self-sufficiency in the staple crops that feed the people of Africa.
“Judging from developments across the globe, the imminent hunger calls for urgent and unprecedented action in the agriculture development space.”
Prof Danquah said Ghana now had modern plant breeders who could drive genetic innovation to grow agribusinesses and expressed the hope that the special convening would lead to the major recommendations, which would inform policy change for investments in agriculture.
The meeting would bring together key institutions in the agricultural development space including Agromite Limited, Ghana Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending Project and Agribusiness Consult.
The rest are AGRI-Impact Consult, Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA), Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural Agricultural Plant Products, Hopeline Institute, the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, and School of Agriculture-UG.
The others are the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research of Ghana-Crops Research Institute, the Directorate of Crop Services of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and the Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate, MOFA.
By Iddi Yire, GNA