Govt must priortise research findings – PGRRI

Prof Agyemang (right) and other other dignitries examining the products

Prof Agyemang (right) and other other dignitries examining the products

The Plant Genetic Resource Research Institute (PGRRI) of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, (CSIR) yesterday held an open- day at Bonsu in the Eastern Region with a call on government to prioritise research findings of state institutions.

The Director General of the CSIR, Professor Victor K. Agyeman said this would be the only way to protect strategic research assets of the country.

According to him, the country cannot derive maximum benefit from its institutions if activities such as those of the PGRRI are not identified and prioritised.

“The socio-economic development of the country would be a mirage if strategic research assets are not jealously guarded,” he added.

The open-day formed part of activities marking the 60th anniversary of the CSIR.

The PGRRI is one of the 13 research institutions under the CSIR and the occasion was used to take stock of the past and also chart a sustainable path for the next decade.

The theme of the event was “Sustainable Conservation for Food Security: The Role of CSIR- PGGRI.”

He indicated that the country would face serious trouble if the genetic stock in the care of the PGGRI got damaged, warning that “if a disaster strikes where do we go, we would end up losing all our research findings which could lead to a national catastrophe”.

Prof Agyeman said was time the country placed priority on Science, Technology and Innovation by ensuring that these institutions were protected and adequately resourced to undertake their activities.

The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong–Boateng in a speech read on his behalf paid glowing tribute to the pioneers of CSIR for their vision and foresight.

“The continued existence of the institute was also a testament of the dedication of the current management staff and stakeholders who are determined that their activities are available for exploration to solve current and emerging threats of food security”

Professor Frimpong – Boateng bemoaned illegal mining, sand winning, bush fires and unregulated infrastructure development on arable lands.

He urged the institute to establish a genomics division to allow it to undertake finger printing of all accessions in its collection and assured that the ministry would help build the expertise of staff to acceptable international standards.

The Chairman of the Council, Professor Wilson Atta Knofah urged farmers to take the opportunities that existed at PGRRI.

He appealed farmers to buy their seedlings which are hybrid, from the institute for maximum yield.

The Board Chairman CSRI, Prof Robert Kingsford-Adaboh said there has been a huge market for spice and medicinal produce and advised farmers to venture into its farming for additional income.

BY LAWRENCE VOMAFA- AKPALU

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