Key stakeholders in plant breeding and agric technology systems as well as Universities from southern, west and east Africa are currently undergoing a review session on Improved MSc in Cultivar for Africa (IMCDA) in Kumasi.
The three -day programme is under the auspices of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
The programme was aimed at assessing the progress of the roll-out of IMCDA in the partner universities.
AGRA is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation to develop and maximize the agricultural potential of beneficiary countries in Africa to ensure food security.
Ghana has been a major beneficiary of the training programmes of AGRA through scholarship programs advanced to students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
Speaking at the programme, the Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Prof. William Otoo Ellis commended AGRA for its current capacity building operations.
He asked for more corporation and collaboration between AGRA and the KNUST.
‘As a university, our relationship with AGRA dates back from the award of scholarships to 43 MSC scholars under AGRA’s programmes for Africa’s seeds systems and the recent successes of our partnerships have included the AGRA project in soil health which awarded 20 PHD scholarships and 15 MSC scholarships to the university. Our partnership has continued to grow and we launch the improved MSC in cultivar development value for Africa as a feather in the cap of KNUST and AGRA in March 2015,’ he explained.
The Programme Officer in charge of education and training with AGRA, Dr.Rufaro M.Madakadze charged participants to endeavour to bring on board ideas that can help increase yields of farmers through improved cultural practices and better yielding seeds.
‘We never struggled to convince farmers that its important to grow a hybrid because they will see it, demand and enjoy it, because there is huge difference in what they see in the field but in all the crops that are important to Africa,’ she said.
Ultimate News’ Theresah Oppong reports that the programme endeavours to double the income of 20 million small holder farmers in Africa
African farmers were urged to do agricultural research to breed more seed varieties that are high yielding and resistant to pests and diseases.
An advisory committee composed of experts in plant breeding were in attendance.