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Pollination to enhance sustainable food security

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Cassava - a staple food in Ghana

A Global Initiative Project that seeks to conserve and manage pollinators to sustain agriculture to enhance global food security is being carried out by the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) as part of its commitment to sustain global environmental agenda.

The UNEP steered the new global initiative based on research on how pollinators could aid food production and also help conserve the environment.

The research led to the discovery that pollination was a crucial element in reproduction of about 75 per cent of most plants.

Thus the need to harness the benefits of pollination by conserving, managing and restoring pollinators in most tropic countries since 95 per cent of plants in the tropical region need pollinators to ensure their reproduction.

Scientists and biologists drawn from Brazil, India, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan South Africa and Ghana had met at Elmina to hold its second international meeting to brainstorm and evolve new strategies to use pollinators to sustain agriculture to ensure food security.

The five-day international conference was held on the theme “Conversation and Management of the Global Pollinators for Sustainable Agriculture, Through an Ecosystem Approach.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations are partners in the implementation of the project.

Prof Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang, Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, said the university’s unwavering commitment to help in the practical implementation of the project since the university had been chosen as the base for the implementation of the West Africa project.

She said the UCC would introduce a new course in pollination biology to train more manpower who would have the capacity of knowledge in the area of plant biology.

In a speech read on behalf of the Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Ms Sherry Aryeetey, enumerated Ghana’s strategic plan of using agriculture biodiversity to ensure food security to include the development of a knowledge base, extension and promotion of pollination friendly management practices, capacity building and public awareness.

She said there was the need to prioritize the maintenance of the country’s ecosystem to sustain pollinators and expressed concern about the high threat of bad environmental practices on pollinators in most tropical regions.

The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mr. Jonathan Allotey, said since 2000, various financing mechanism for biodiversity had been put in place to help address defects in Ghana’s ecosystem.

He said biodiversity could help ensure food security by 2015 as stipulated in the Millennium Development Goals MDG and that transforming agriculture through an ecosystem approach was vital in securing food globally.

Source: GNA

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