WACCI Holds Media Engagement

The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) has held a media engagement as part of activities marking the Centre’s 15th anniversary.

The event presented an opportunity to outdoor recently graduated PhD students, made up of 7 males and 3 females from Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Tanzania. The event was also used to celebrate Dr. Beatrice Ifie, a Senior Lecturer, on her new appointment as Senior Research Fellow at the University of Aberystwyth, Wales.

The Director of WACCI, Prof. Eric Yirenkyi Danquah, invited stakeholders to partner the Centre in its efforts to become an impactful sustainable agricultural innovation and entrepreneurship institution. “Investments of about US$ 50 million dollars in WACCI will lead to the sustainable development of innovations for sustained self-sufficiency in food production, job creation, poverty reduction and improved livelihoods, and socio-economic development. This will be scaled up to cut down significantly on imports of seed and food now in the region of US$ 2.7 billion”, stated Prof. Danquah.

Explaining why there is the need to swiftly invest in the seed systems of the key staple crops of the country, the Director of WACCI referred to the Ghana Living Standards Survey Report which indicated that Ghana’s agricultural sector is the primary source of livelihood and has sustained the country’s economic growth.

Thus, WACCI proposes targeted investments in local genetic innovation and the development of a robust seed system for sustainable food security. In addition to the 250 improved and resilient varieties of staple crops, released by students of WACCI in their home countries, the Centre itself has developed three high yielding hybrid maize varieties that are currently under commercialisation and three high yielding hybrid tomato varieties that are in high demand.

Prof. Danquah noted that WACCI will continue to contribute to Ghana’s efforts in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 2, to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture by developing resilient, nutritious, productive, and market-driven varieties of staple crops, which could be scaled up to meet import demand in the West and Central Africa sub-region and beyond. “This is how a country like ours should develop”, said Prof. Danquah.

Present at the media engagement were faculty members and staff of WACCI.