Make practical gardening part of growing children – Prof Akosa

A Professor of Pathology, Agyeman Badu Akosa, says it is incumbent on all to make practical gardening an essential part of the growing of the Ghanaian child.

He said that was the only way to make Ghana greener, wealthier, healthier and more beautiful.

Prof Akosa said this in a keynote address at the opening of this year’s Ghana Garden Flower Show (GGFS) at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park in Accra on Wednesday.

The show, which is the 10th edition, was under the theme “Growth Unleashed,”Karaoke Night, Green to Riches Youth Conference, Movie Night, Children’s Playground and education centre, Fashion Show and Israeli Green Innovation Challenge are some of the activities lined up for this year’s event.

Organised by Stratcomm Africa, the show is sponsored by Stanbic Bank, Gold Key Properties, Israeli Embassy, Republic Bank, Akai House Clinic, Glenfiddich, Ecobank, Interplast, Polytank, Vivo Energy, Zoomlion, Awake Purified Water, G&J Technical Services and Aya Tic.

Prof Akosa stressed that the country seemed to have lost what it meant to have greenery and had no free flow sky blue River or water and “what it does for the body and soul.”

“We have lost in the last 50 years a considerable proportion of Ghana’s forests and now the savannah ecology is pushing itself into the rainforest belt and water bodies have been polluted either in search of gold or by domestic waste. Ghana is growing brown,” he added.

Prof Akosa noted that the only bright spots left in the capital were the Legon Botanical gardens and the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park which appeared to be under threat.

As such he called for a commencement of investment in horticulture and floriculture, he added that “I would want to see the many sub centres across the major travelled routes-Accra Kumasi, Accra-Takoradi and Accra-Aflao road and many more.”

Emphasising that these centres need not grow only flowers and plants but vegetables, herbs and spices, he stated that the country had lots of indigenous plants of major pharmaceutical importance which could be used for the country’s benefit.

“We can create herbs and spices and produce enough with such plants that will feed local pharmaceutical companies. We cannot rely on others for everything,” he added.

The pathologist usedthe opportunity to commend StratcommAfrica for initiating such an event which was gradually turning the phase of floriculture and horticulture in the country.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Stratcomm Africa, MsEsther A. N. Cobbah, who lauded sponsors, said the show had created the platform for the public to promote and showcase their businesses in the floriculture and horticulture industry and also build their capacity for business growth.

She said the Show’s inter-related activities, including exhibitions, conferences, and workshops, had been unearthing job opportunities in floriculture and horticulture for Ghanaian youth to take up.

Ms Cobbah said the show was to raise awareness about available natural resources for livelihood enhancement and national development, and thus to promote and contribute to the realisation of the United Nation (UN)’s Sustainable Development Goals.

She revealed that the show which started with four exhibitors and 1,400 visitors in its first edition was gradually driving traffic as it grew to 140 exhibitors and 20,000 visitors in 2021.

BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR

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