CSIR to establish Horticultural Research Institute

farmerThe Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has approved the establishment of a Horticultural Research Institute.

This brings to 14 the number of research institutions under the umbrella of the CSIR, each with a mandate covering specialiSed areas like agriculture, industry, social sciences and some aspects of health.

Dr Abdulai B. Salifu, CSIR Director General made the announcement at a joint inaugural session of the 2nd Consultative Committee Meeting and the 16th Coordinating Council Meeting of the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) in Accra.

He said a three-member team of experts has been constituted to develop modalities towards the establishment of the Institute; adding that it is expected that the setting up of the Institute would widen the scope of research into fruits, vegetables, ornamental and medicinal plants to assist the growth of the horticultural industry.

Dr Salifu described CSIR as the largest scientific research organisation in the country; set-up by the government to organise and coordinate scientific research and development activities.

It’s also mandated to advise government on scientific and technological advancements likely to be important for the development of the nation.

Dr Salifu said: “In its 54 years of existence, the CSIR has creditably discharged its mandate by generating several research findings and technologies.

“These research findings have contributed to the reduction of poverty, enhanced livelihoods in rural communities, improved food security in Ghana and promote socioeconomic development in the country”.

The Director General said the CSIR have about 500 researchers of varied specialised disciplines and expertise which play significant roles towards Ghana’s socioeconomic development.

He noted that the CSIR has also contributed to the development of agro-industrial technologies for rainwater harvesting, drilling of boreholes, mango production, pozzolana cement production for housing and technologies for the road infrastructure, electrification and fisheries.

He said these CSIR products provide appropriate and effective solutions to Ghana’s unique developmental challenges, such as low industrial and agricultural productivity, community degradation or stagnation, youth unemployment and poverty.

He said the CSIR had kept faith with the mission of COMSATS to achieve sustainable development in the southern hemisphere through the use of science and technology.

Dr Salifu said the CSIR had collaborated with a number of international scientific and technological organisations such as International Food Policy Research Institute and German Technical Cooperation, for the advancement of science and technology.

Dr Imtinan Elahi Qureshi, Executive Director of COMSATS in an introductory remarks said it is unfortunate that the hope of bridging the gap between the developed and developing nations with respect to science and technology remains largely unfulfilled.

He said the opportunities of the leap forging in the domain of technologies, such as communication technology, biotechnology and renewable energy technology, exists, but it is apparently unachievable because of the break-neck speed at which new advances are being made as well as the resources that are required to catch with the front runners.

COMSATS founded in 1994, hopes to achieve sustainable development in developing countries through the use of science and technology.

The three- day meeting of COMSATS is being attended by leading research scientists from member countries.

The countries attending the meeting in Africa include Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.

Source: GNA

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