Allow us to run ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ – CSIR to govt
The Deputy Director General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Professor Marian Dorcas Quain, has appealed to government to allow the research centre run its flagship agricultural programme, Planting for Food and Jobs.
She said the research centre, which was the foremost national science and technology institution in the country, had the human capacity and logistic to ensure the sustainability of the programme.
“As I speak, the CSIR has developed several crop varieties and we do not want it to be an academic exercise that we develop a variety and it sits there, because we want the varieties to go out.
“We all heard of the Planting for Food and Jobs, and since we have developed several crop varieties we would be able to meet and exceed the programme if the government provides us with the funding to run the programme,” she said.
Professor Quain said this in Accra, at a roundtable discussion which brought together experts from the business and industry, universities and research sector, on how they can collaborate to drive innovation and knowledge transfer.
It was organised by Heritors Labs, and the Research and Innovation System for Africa (RISA), to discuss and brainstorm on a comprehensive means of supporting programmes and as well enhance capacity building in the research development and ecosystem.
Professor Quain said the CSIR had identified some areas locally that they would like to research, but did not have the funding to venture into those areas.
She said although the CSIR received international funding from development partners, the development partners set the research questions on areas that the funding should be channelled.
“Every year we send our budgetary request to the government through the Ministry of Finance, and we get some monies, but we get just like one per cent of our budget,” Professor Quain said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Ghana Industries, Mr Seth Twum Akwaboah said that, following the high production cost and taxes, industries in the country do not have adequate funding for research.
He advocated tax relief for industries who had invested huge monies into research, since such research development would help them develop new products and services.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Private Enterprise Foundation, Nana Osei Bonsu, on his part, called for a strong collaboration between thegovernment and the private enterprises in funding research for national development.
BY BERNARD BENGHAN