Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, has underlined the government’s determination to aggressively push towards industrialization.
It was eager to see the machinery and equipment for the one district one factory programme, manufactured locally.
He was speaking at the ‘open day’ of the Crop Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Kumasi.
The event provided the opportunity for interaction and strengthening of linkages among scientists, policy makers and key actors in the agricultural value chain.
It was held under the theme “Enhancing agricultural research for food security and job creation”.
The day was used to showcase improved varieties of maize, cassava, yam, potato, cocoyam, cowpea, groundnut, soya bean, pepper, banana and plantain developed by the CRI.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng said they were focusing priority on support to scientists and technical experts to develop and produce equipment for the local industries.
He indicated that this would be done through the establishment of foundry, computer and numerical control (CNC) facilities and food machine centres.
He spoke of steps taken by his ministry to strengthen the operation of the Institute for Industrial Research to aid the production of hydrogen from fuel cells.
This, he said would be used to power vehicles, generators and other machinery.
He made reference to climate and highlighted the need for increased use of technology to boost food production.
Dr. Sagre Bambani, Deputy Agriculture Minister, said everything was being done to engage and expose small-holder farmers to improved farming practices to increase crop yield and returns.
They would be given strong extension support to enable them to benefit from research to grow the agriculture sector.
He applauded the CRI for the good job it had been doing and said the expectation was that it would intensify the effort to end seed importation.
Dr. Stella Ama Ennin, Director of CRI, announced that preparations were underway to supply 116,800 kilograms of foundation seed of its improved maize, rice, soybean and pepper in support for the ‘planting for food and job’ programme.
The seed varieties would be distributed to registered seed companies for the production of 5,000 hectares of high quality certified seeds.
CRI was ready to play pivotal role in the application of science and technology in the one district, one factory project, she added.