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Scientist calls for improved agriculture to meet food demand

Source: Philip Tengzu

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There is the need for improved agriculture to meet food demand in the world in the near future, A Research Scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research- Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI), Dr. Jerry Nboyine has emphacised.
He noted that the world population was projected at ten billion people by 2050 which required that food production be increased to meet its demand.
“It is projected that by the year 2050 the world’s population is supposed to hit about ten billion, and we need to increase our agricultural production by more than 50 per cent in order to feed the world, Dr. Nboyine explained.
He, however, noted that Post Harvest Losses could affect food production if the necessary steps were not to address the issue.
Dr Nboyine said this in a presentation at the Second Upper West Regional Post Harvest Loss Forum in Wa on Tuesday aimed at accessing the Post Harvest Loss situation in the region and to chart a favourable path for addressing the issues.
Dr Nboyine stated that Post Harvest Loss is integrated and occurs at all stages from harvesting to storage of the produce.
“It actually starts from the time you harvest through to storage, so Post Harvest Losses are not just limited to what happens in storage, it goes far beyond that.
Once the farmer cuts off his maize from the field through the various stages as winnowing, threshing, drying and all that, the losses that occur in these stages are part of the Post Harvest Loss process”, he said.
Dr. Nboyine said the Upper West Region was the major producer of sorghum for the country but regretted that an estimated 30 per cent of sorghum produced is lost.
The Deputy Upper West Regional Mister, Amidu Chinnia Isshaku explained that in spite of government’s efforts to ensure food security in the country, Post Harvest Losses still remained an impediment to achieving this goal.
He said in efforts to fight the menace, the government, through the Buffer Stock Company would buy produce from farmers and store for future use.
For his part, the Executive Coordinator for the Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC), Ibrahim Akalbila, explained that Post Harvest Loses affected the ability of farmers to reinvest in their activities which he said informed the need for the forum.
“Post Harvest Losses make farmers to lose a big chunk of their produce which affects their ability to reinvest”, he said, and called for increased number of extension officers to sensitise farmers to appropriate ways to safe guard their farm produce to minimize Post Harvest Losses.
The forum was organized by the Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition under the Netherland Development Organisation (SNV) Voice for Change partnership.
It was on the theme: “from Policy to Practice, Realising the Socio-economic Benefits of Addressing Post Harvest Losses in the Upper West Region”, and brought together heads of departments, farmers as well as other stakeholders in the agricultural sector.

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