The first ever national seminar on conservation and management of pollinators for sustainable agriculture, through ecosystem approach opens at the Crops Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industry Research (CSIR) at Fumesua, near Kumasi, on Monday.
It is being organized by Global Pollination Project-Ghana, which is based at the University of Cape Coast.
The Global Pollination Project is a five-year initiative being implemented in seven partner countries of Brazil, Ghana, Kenya, Nepal, India, Pakistan and South Africa.
The objective of the seminar is to improve food security, nutrition and livelihoods through enhanced conservation and sustainable use of pollinators.
It aims at harnessing the benefits of pollination services provided by wild biodiversity for human livelihoods and sustainable agriculture, through ecosystem approach in the seven selected countries.
The project is being funded by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) through Global Environmental Facility and coordinated by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) with co-funding from partner countries.
In Ghana, the project is being implemented in three sites; Mankessim, Dodowa and Kubeasi/Bobiri and focusing on three priority crops of Cocoa, Mango and vegetables-garden eggs.
Dr Peter Kwapong, National Coordinator of the project, told the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi, ahead of the seminar that pollination, which directly links wild ecosystems with agricultural production, is critical for food production and human livelihoods.
He said Ghana’s economy depended heavily on crops that demand animal pollination and it is important that the nation pays attention to the issue of conservation and sustainable utilization of pollinators within the environment, which are mainly insects or bees.
Dr Kwapong said the project has been carrying out activities in four thematic areas; knowledge generation and documentation, best management practices, capacity building and awareness creation and it involves farmers, extension agents, students, researchers and the general public to gather and document information on pollination.
According to Dr Kwapong, farmers in the project sites have been encouraged to list and document practices that are best to help attract and retain pollinators on the agricultural landscapes, adding that, training manuals have been developed and training carried out for farmers and extension agents in order to develop crop specific management plans.
He said the national seminar is one of the awareness creation strategies to inform particularly, the research community about the project and the need for all to come on board to conserve pollinators which are fast disappearing from the country ecosystem.