Business News of 2014-04-07

WIENCO sets up fund for research at UDS

Wienco Ghana Limited, importers and distributors of quality agricultural inputs, has established a fund at the University for Development Studies (UDS) to promote research work at the Faculty of Agriculture.
An amount of US$50,000 would be released annually for three years to support both staff and graduate students interested in further research into agricultural growth that would be beneficial to smallholder farmers and the general public.
The academic programme is a collaboration between Wienco, Wageningen University in The Netherlands and UDS.
This was disclosed at a review of the initiative that started last year in Tamale, where the first tranche of the funds was to be released to five successful candidates whose proposals were accepted after a competitive selection process.
The Head of the chair from the Wageningen University, Professor Kees van’t Klooster, mentioned the five projects the candidates would be researching into as efficient analysis of smallholder farming in northern Ghana and the determinants of biotechnology on the shea tree.
The rest are developing resilient and climate-smart cropping systems for African indigenous vegetables and climate change effects on maize production.
He explained that after the successful completion of the project, the results would be made public for the benefit of stakeholders in the sector and the general public.
More proposals
“We hope to receive more proposals from interested staff and students in subsequent years, since the project would go a long way to improve seed production and also ensure food security in this area,” he said.
According to him, the Wageningen University specialises in the studies of healthy food and living environment and it has offered opportunities to many Ghanaian and other African students to study in the university.
Wienco intervention
A Project Manager of Wienco, Tom Durang, said the company was established in 1979 jointly by Dutch and Ghanaian shareholders and it had been operating in the north for 30 years now.
Mr Durang added that apart from the importation, distribution and support for farmers, his outfit had also commenced an irrigation project in the north.
“Our major objective is to continue in the development of new crop protection areas to enhance the productivity of the Ghanaian farmer to ensure that he/she obtains high yields profitably and increased incomes,” he said.
The manager described the establishment of the fund as a strategic partnership between the private sector and the university saying “I hope it will be the starting point for further collaborations and support.”
UDS appreciation
The Dean of the Agriculture Faculty of the UDS, Professor George Nyarko, said their major challenge had been the lack of funds for research, and, therefore, pledged to use the money judiciously.
The Pro-Vice Chancellor of the UDS, Professor Gabriel A. Teye, expressed appreciation to their benefactors and entreated other individuals, companies and organisations to also partner the UDS to contribute its quota to building human resource for national development.
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