Ghana has signed the science agenda framework adopted by the African Union (AU) to use science and technology to improve production in the agricultural sector.
The framework is for deepening the application of science and innovation for the transformation of agriculture in Africa to achieve sustainable growth, shared prosperity and poverty reduction.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, and the Minister of Science, Environment, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, signed the document for their respective ministries in Accra last Wednesday.
The Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Forum for Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA), Dr Ephraim Mukisira, signed on behalf of FARA, which is a stakeholder.
The science agenda is in line with targets under the Malabo Declaration by AU Heads of State and Government in 2014 to eliminate hunger, poverty and food insecurity by 2025.
Dr Akoto said the agenda would consolidate the gains made by the country after the roll-out of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme.
“The government knows that the way forward to transform the agricultural sector is to use modern technology and that is why the PFJ was introduced in 2017.
We are already leveraging on technology in the agricultural sector through the production and supply of improved seeds and fertilisers to farmers.
“The improved seeds are developed by local scientists and researchers and we have extended the supply of the seeds from 200,000 farmers in 2017 to almost 600,000 this year,” he said.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng added that the science agenda would motivate the government to continue to collaborate with the appropriate stakeholders to use cutting-edge technology and innovation to revolutionise the agricultural sector.
“The poverty and hunger gaps in this country are a technology gap, so this commitment that Ghana has made by signing the science agenda will address the gap and improve the situation,” he said.
For his part, Dr Mukisira commended Ghana for being among the first five countries in Africa selected for the implementation of the science agenda.