AGRA provides $2.6m to fight poverty, hunger in West Africa
Thirty (30) students from Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Niger and Burkina Faso, have been selected to benefit from the programme, jointly launched by the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
They would be awarded the Improved Master of Science (MSc) In Cultivar Development for Africa (IMCDA) degree at the end of their two-year training.
Professor Rufaro Madakadze, the Programme Officer of AGRA, said the objective is to increase the availability of a new set of plant breeders, who would work to lift farmers out of poverty.
The AGRA is providing US$2.67 million to fund the programme.
Prof. William Otoo Ellis, the Vice Chancellor of the KNUST, said it would tremendously improve the capacity of the university to train industry- ready plant breeders to produce pest, disease and drought-resistant seeds and hybrid seeds.
They would work more efficiently in both public and private sectors to increase crop yield and incomes of farmers.
Prof. Ellis said they would achieve this through the use of modern breeding technologies, data management, emphasis on experimental learning and acquisition of soft skills.
Prof. Richard Akromah, the Provost of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) of the University, said it would assure the region of food security.