Ghana's premier university leads project to improve well-being of citizens through agriculture

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-19 02:47:36|Editor: yan
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ACCRA, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- The University of Ghana, Legon, on Friday hosted a workshop with industry, academia and other stakeholders to strategize in using agriculture to eradicate poverty in Ghana.

The objective of the 20-year venture, under the Economic Inclusion and Poverty Eradication Project (EIPEP), is to enforce respect for agriculture and achieve food sufficiency.

The notion that universities have not become relevant to industry and society has been shot down as the University's Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST) is leading the Ghana Economic Well-being Project to eradicate poverty.

The school is promoting greenhouse farming technology with modern machinery in some parts of the country as a poverty eradication approach.

The technology will also help reduce post-harvest losses and increase incomes of farmers.

The Director of the Institute, Professor George Oduro Nkansah, said the project, which kick-starts in September, would involve application of technology to undertake all-year round farming.

"It is something that has worked which we want to push nationwide to make a change to eradicate poverty and that is what we intend to do. And the university has taken the lead to make the university more relevant to industry and the country," he told Xinhua in an interview.

As part of the broader plan for the project, the country has been divided into 10 blocks with farmers put into cooperative bodies who would contribute into the bigger project.

Already, more than 4,000 hectares of land has been secured for the project which is expected to begin in September on the University's own land and later carried out along the blocks from January, next year.

The institute is also expected to use its knowledge and expertise at the disposal of the farming community.

The Chief Executive Officer of Gratisn Foundation, Emmanuel Kwaku Asiedu, said Ghana had enough fertile land for growing food crops and, with improved technology, the agricultural sector could move many people out of the poverty line.

"We are going to use agriculture with improved technology, research and machinery because using the local crude way of doing things will not be able to actually help us to achieve our objectives," he told Xinhua.

The EIPEP workshop is an exclusive Ghanaian Solution designed to engage stakeholders in the general economic development through the adoption of practical solutions and innovative technologies.