Crop Research Institute leads project to make agric more sustainable

The Ministry of Environment Science Technology and Innovation, ,has launched a two-year project aimed at exploring innovative technologies and environmentally friendly ways to produce rice and maize in the country.

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Known as the Adoption of Agroecology and Circular Economy for Ecosystem Services (ACE4ES) the project would be led by the Crop Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-CRI) and it aims to make agriculture more sustainable and find better ways to grow food while protecting the environment.

The one-million-dollar project, being financed by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), is being implemented in four countries in Africa, namely Ghana, Benin, Nigeria and Tanzania and would among other things, improve soil health, reduce harmful pollutants and reduce the harmful effects of climate change.

Minister

Speaking at the launch and the unveiling of the logo, the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Mfantseman, Ophelia Mensah Hayford, said the ACE4ES initiative would advance and enhance sustainable development process in the country.

She said the ACE4ES project aligned with the government’s vision of encouraging a greener environment for a resilient future, expressing the government’s readiness to work and collaborate with research institutes and all relevant sectors to achieve the needed results.

Ms Mensah-Hayford said the ministry’s mandate was to promote sustainable development by deepening and strengthening a driven research and development innovation through intensive partnership and collaboration.

Project Overview

The Project Lead, Dr Kwaku Onwona-Hwesofour Asante said the ACE4ES was initiated based on the challenges faced in the food production system with inputs that made agriculture unproductive which affected the health of the soil and crops.

The project, he explained, would adopt a new approach to agriculture, and agroecology to ensure sustainability of food production and also mitigate the effect of climate change. “In the first year, the project will establish a technology that will assemble different technologies across Africa and beyond to validate the principles of agroecology for emission reduction in rice and maize production “, he explained.

The second year of the project, Dr Asante said, would be used to engage stakeholders, including the media on the strategies to use to mitigate the emissions observed in agricultural fields, particularly in the production of rice and maize.

Game Changer

The Director-General of CSIR-CRI, Professor Paul P Bosu, described the ACE4ES project as a game-changer in sustainable farming and land management. He encouraged the project partners, researchers and other stakeholders to utilise the opportunities in the two-year duration to deliver on time to ensure donors continuous funding and extension support.

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