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General News Sat, 5 Aug 2006

MOFA moves to upgrade training institutes

Kumasi, Aug. 05, GNA - The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has completed arrangements to upgrade some of its training institutes to tertiary level with the view to equipping extension agents with the requisite knowledge in modern agricultural techniques and skills.

The Ministry said the move formed part of measures to also harness the professional competence of extension agents to enable them assist farmers to embrace the scientific and technical agricultural innovations available for sustainable productivity and poverty alleviation.

Mrs Anna Nyamekye, Deputy Minister of MOFA in-charge of Livestock, who disclosed this, did not specify the number of training institutes, that were being upgraded but was hopeful that a considerable number of institutes were being upgraded to meet the changing trends in the agricultural sector.

She was speaking at the third biennial congress of the Ghana branch of the Sasakawa African Fund for Extension Education (SAFE) Alumni Association in Kumasi on Friday.

Held on the theme, "Towards Achieving the Millennium Development Goal: The Role of Agricultural Development Professionals", the congress brought together alumni of SAFE from other African countries including Togo, Nigeria, Mali and Benin.

It was aimed among others to strengthen stronger networks amongst the alumni of SAFE and also suggest practical ways and means of making the SAFE programme more relevant to the changing context of agricultural and rural development in the country.

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The SAFE programme was initiated in the country in 1993 by MOFA in collaboration with the Nippon Foundation in Japan and was aimed at developing formal continuing education programmes for mid-career agricultural and development workers.

Mrs Nyamekye said MOFA was currently pursuing prudent and operative policies so as to increase support for food crops and livestock farmers with the view to increase productivity and generate adequate revenues from their operations.

She called on the participants to work harder and be dedicated to collaborating with government to achieve its objective to meet the Millennium Development Goals of reducing by half the population of people, who suffer from hunger by the year 2015.

Dr Deola Naibakelao, Executive Director of the SAFE programme in Africa, was hopeful that the institution of the programme on the continent would go a long way to enhance agricultural development.

Source: GNA
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