68th Annual New Year School and Conference Kicks Off

(L-R),  The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (RID), Prof. Francis Doodo; Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ebenezer O. Owusu; His Excellency, the President of the Republic, Nana Akufo-Addo; Pro-Vice Chancellor (ASA), Prof. Samuel Kwame Offei; and Minister-designate for Food and Agriculture, Hon. Dr.Owusu Afriyie Akoto.

On Monday 16th January 2017, the President, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, opened the 68th Annual New Year School and Conference at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana on the theme “Promoting National Development through Agricultural Modernization: The Role of ICT.”

In his address, the President underlined the fact that the Annual New Year School is a big step towards the establishment of a cycle of initiatives and actions for making the country’s agriculture sector more productive and sustainable.

His Excellency addressing the audience

He stressed the vision of his government to regenerate the agricultural sector by harnessing the value chain processes to create new businesses and job opportunities in the areas of storage, transport, processing, packaging, and marketing, so that farmers and fishermen can earn higher incomes.

The Vice-Chancellor and chairperson of the occasion, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, reminded the audience that agriculture is the backbone of every economy, and emphasized the major role ICT plays in the agricultural sector, especially in its capacity to create job opportunities, thereby reducing poverty, creating wealth, and promoting national development.

Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu - Vice Chancellor

The Senior Food and Nutrition Officer, FAO Regional Office for Africa, Dr. AgBendech Mohamed, pointed out that the development actors need to understand the traditional processes of farmer innovation in order to succeed in bringing ICT closer to farmers. He indicated that local innovation drives technology which in turn drives change and improves local knowledge.

The Minister designate for the Ministry of Agriculture, Honourable Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, addressed the need to generate more wealth in the agricultural sector in order to improve the livelihood of farmers and fisher folks, and help grow the national economy. He indicated how commitment to wealth generation in agriculture will drive the government’s plan to launch a national campaign dubbed “Planting for Food and Jobs.’’

Minister Designate for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture

Dr. Akoto stressed that the campaign will be designed to encourage citizens both urban and rural to take up farming as full- or part-time activity. Dr. Akoto estimated that the campaign will generate an additional farm income worth over one billion Ghana cedis.

Present at the ceremony were the Registrar; the Pro-Vice Chancellors; Acting Provost, College of Education and Dean, School of Continuing and Distance Education; Provosts, Deans, Directors, students and a section of the general public.

Participants at the Conference