New project to boost innovation in agric sector

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That, she said, would ensure that food production is increased to meet rising demand for quality foods produced.

 Speaking at the opening of a workshop on quality infrastructure services for innovation in the agricultural and food sector in Accra, she said, “the demand for food is rising higher and higher due to increasing population.
To be able to overcome this one may argue that food production would need to be increased.”

She added, “the tenants of the Quality Infrastructure, namely, Accreditation, Standardisation, Conformity Assessment and Metrology, especially Legal Metrology, will play a significant role in the activities related to the agriculture and food sector.

It is important that standards are used in the agricultural sector to ensure that foods produced are of quality.”

Mrs Adetola explained that increasing food production must, however, be complemented by other activities such as improvement of analytical testing of seeds, soil, commercial movement of food and agricultural product and inputs, improved storage facilities and the development of other activities that could generate employment and incomes in order to ensure that people have both physical and financial access to food.

Scaling up innovations

The Chief Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ing Joseph Kwasi Boamah, said the aim of the global programme was to introduce and scale up innovations of selected value chains to boost the income of smallholders, create more employment opportunities and increase regional food supplies.

He also said Ghana’s programme was launched in December, 2015 and was supporting the scaling up of technologies and development of rice and maize value chains in four regions; namely, the Brong Ahafo, Central, Eastern and Ashanti.

“Ensuring food and agricultural products meet the desired quality standards for domestic and international markets is very crucial for our lives and for the development of the agricultural sector.

This project, which aims at increasing the use of quality infrastructure services for selected value chains is relevant to the needs of the agricultural sector,” he said.

He further explained that the project would help improve food security and the competitiveness of Ghanaian produce through its outlined measures, particularly ensuring general awareness of quality standards issues and building the capacity of relevant Ghanaian institutions to address quality standards in our production and marketing system on a sustainable basis.

The Project, “Enhancement of quality infrastructure services for innovation in the agriculture and food sector, Ghana”, comes as a parallel and companion project for the Green Innovation Center Project and the Market-Oriented Agriculture Programme (MOAP).

The next phase of MOAP, which starts in 2017, will be focusing on quality production of four horticulture value chains; namely, mango, citrus, pineapple and pepper.

The workshop

The workshop was organised by the German Institute of Metrology (PTB) in line with the project “One world – No hunger”, an initiative launched by the German Government aimed at contributing to improve food security, rural development and also securing employment and income for small-holder farmers.

The purpose of the meeting was to present the outline of the proposed project and to brainstorm and refine activities in different intervention areas.

“Conformity assessment schemes will have to be developed to ensure conformance to applicable standards.

It is our hope that this workshop will critically examine all factors that directly or indirectly affect food production and come out with innovative strategies to help this country more ahead in its quest to become self-sufficient for food products as well as improve the households of small-holder farmers,” she said.

 

Source: GraphicOnline