Ghana has signed an agreement with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), a non-profit research organisation, to provide legal status to the Institute’s operations in the country.
The agreement, in line with the country’s laws, provides key reliefs, including exemptions for communication and transportation controls.
Dr Tia Alfred Sugri, Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, said the establishment of IITA West Africa Hub in the country will benefit the tourism sector as officials of IITA will be drawn from various countries to access research facilities.
It will as well benefit farmers through individual and institutional capacity enhancement in science and technology, improved farm productivity and profitability.
Dr Sugri said IITA’s presence would involve more Ghanaian researchers, extension agents, technicians, farmers, traders and other value chain actors to work together and enhance development.
He said the gesture will strengthen IITA’s collaboration with Agricultural and Research and Development Innovations, state agencies, non-governmental organisations and the private sector in sharing new knowledge on major staple crops.
The Deputy Minister urged Ghanaians to take advantage of the partnership with IITA to improve research activities and increase agricultural production.
Dr Asamoah Larbi, Country Director of IITA, expressed his appreciation to all who made the agreement possible saying scientific research is the way forward with the emerging climate change which is affecting food crop production, making it necessary to focus on scientific research to adapt to environmental changes.