Agric Minister briefs House on Ejura Agric College

Fiifi Kwetey Minister of Agriculture (3)Parliament yesterday invited the Minister of Food and Agricul-ture to appear before it to explain why the Ejura Agricultural College, an agricultural science training insti-tution at Ejura, in the Ashanti Region, has no science laboratory.

Some members expressed concerns over the quality of graduates the institute has been producing over the years, without a lab for experiments and other practicals.

The Minister, Mr. Fifi Kwetey, whose tardiness generated controversy in the House even before he appeared, was to respond to a question filed by Mohammed Salisu Bamba (NPP Ejura Sekyedumase), as well as a host of other supplementary questions.

He gave the assurance that the government would provide the institution with a science laboratory to improve upon the quality of agric education in the institute.

“The college, through its collaboration with AGRA-UDS has received a quantity of science equipment for science practicals,” he said, and added that the ministry had applied to the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) for support.

The minister said the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), has donated a quantity of assorted books to improve the stock of books at the college’s library, and indicated that the FAO has promised to regularly supply books to the college.

On efforts to upgrade the college into a diploma awarding institute, he said the ministry, as a policy, had decided to upgrade all the five agricultural colleges to diploma awarding institutions.

He said a formal request has been sent to the National Accreditation Board (NAB) for assessment.

“The NAB has inspected all the facilities of Ejura Agricultural College. The NAB indicated that there was the need to improve the infrastructure at Ejura Agricultural College before the college could be accredited to run the diploma programme,” he said.

Mr. Kwetey noted that the areas of concern for the NAB were inadequate number and quality of the teaching staff, small sized library with outdated books, and inadequate classroom accommodation.

He said the board also observed inadequate residential accommodation for tutors and students, as one of the challenges confronting the college.

“The ministry has collected forms from the NAB for upgrading from a certificate to a diploma awarding institution. These forms are being filled and will be submitted with the requested documents soonest.”

“In terms of staffing, the ministry has posted an experienced director from the Kwadaso Agricultural College to Ejura as the principal,” he said, and added that the principal was greatly involved during the accreditation process at Kwadaso.

He said the principal is expected to bring his rich experience to bear on the accreditation process at the Ejura Agricultural College.

By Yaw Kyei

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