US pledges to work more with Ghana
Mr Robert P. Jackson, United States of America (USA) Ambassador to Ghana, has pledged his country’s renewed commitment to work more with a democratic country such as Ghana to aid economic prosperity to improve the living conditions of the people.
The Ambassador who was presenting three Toyota Hilux pick-up vehicles as well as 41 desktop computers and accessories to the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) at Nyankpala in the Tolon District of the Northern Region, said the gifts were part of a package to promote the advancement of agricultural research which would boost farmers productivity.
This he said would be achieved by enhancing farmers’ access to improved crop varieties which would increase their per-hectare yields and improve their incomes.
He said the donation was part of the “Feed the Future Initiative” project initiated by the US and intended to reduce hunger, improve food security and poverty as well as boost the incomes of smallholder farmers in rural areas.
Mr Jackson said the vehicles would boost the mobility of SARI to reach more remote communities stressing that “we are fully committed to working with SARI to drive long-term economic growth in the region”.
He said since the intervention of US projects in the northern part of the country, poverty levels has reduced significantly to 18 percent while stunting among children under five has equally reduced to 23 per cent.
Dr. Stephen Nutsugah, Director of SARI lauded US for its assistance to the Institute which has facilitated the conduct of various researches into crop varieties noting that due to the support of the development partners, five new varieties of maize were produced last year while four new varieties were expected in 2016.
He indicated that the US was supporting SARI with a $5.5 million package to produce breeder and foundation seeds for farmers in the Northern, Upper East and West regions to scale up technology for more resistant crop varieties of rice, soyabean and maize for dissemination to smallholder farmers.
He said since the partnership started, SARI’s technology in crop research has improved significantly while exchange of knowledge among researchers of SARI and other international institutions has been enhanced.
The Ambassador also visited a field demonstration site where SARI was nursing new variety of maize using irrigation facilities.
Mr Jackson had earlier paid a courtesy call on the Nyankpala-Lanna, Naa Abdulai Yakubu, Chief of Nyankpala and assured him of the US commitment towards transforming lives. He also inspected a Kindergarten facility at Nyankpala funded by the US at the cost of GH¢141, 547.49