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Afriyie Akoto calls for speedy passage of L.I restricting importation of agric products

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Former minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto is calling for speedy passage of the Legislative Instrument restricting importation of certain agricultural products.

Speaking at the launch of the 70th anniversary of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Dr. Afriyie Akoto said the delayed passage of L.I puts Ghanaian farmers at a disadvantage.

“12 of these products are agricultural products which are cultivated by our farmers in Ghana.

“Our farmers are heavily disadvantaged under the current import regime. They desperately need a level playing field in order to compete effectively with their counterparts abroad,” he said.

In November 2023, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture pushed for the establishment of a regulation that will restrict the importation of what they call strategic products.

Some of the items include rice, fruit juices, innards, fish, cement, and some other 17 items.

However, the government suspended the L.I following massive opposition from various stakeholders including the minority in parliament.

The Vice-chancellor, Prof. Rita Akosua Dickson touted KNUST’s commitment to ensuring the growth of Ghana’s agricultural landscape.

“New frontiers of agriculture have emerged, coupled with the negative effects of climate change and the need for climate change adaptation mitigation strategies, all the new technologies including artificial intelligence, internet of things and what have you are going on around us.

“As a leading science and technology university in this country, we have a responsibility to ensure that technology works for us as a university and the country as we keep our eyes on food security and all the issues that are related to agriculture in this country. We have led the way and we must continue to lead the way,” she emphasized.

The Faculty of Agriculture has been instrumental in efforts to ensure sustainable agriculture in Ghana.

The Faculty has for over 70 years contributed to programmes such as the Danida Root and Tuber Value Chain Project, AUSAID Improved Yam Storage Project, Ghana Poultry Project (GPP) Youth mentorship Programme, Finatrade Foundation Model Farm Concept among others.

With a student population of over 5,000, the faculty has been particularly facing infrastructural challenges.

The Dean of the faculty, Prof Enoch Adjei Osekere called on alumni and other stakeholders to help curtail the challenges.

“Student numbers have not come with commensurate infrastructure, academic and other staff support. Our lecture space is highly inadequate, laboratories lack state-of-the-art equipment and teaching materials are almost outdated.

“These challenges have reduced the effectiveness of teaching, learning and hands-on experiences,” he stated.

Some distinguished alumni were awarded for their accomplishments in various sectors of the Ghanaian economy.

An alumni and former Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hackman Owusu-Agyemang spoke about how the ideals of KNUST have positively impacted his life and career.

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