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Regional News Fri, 29 May 2009

"Loss of plant resources worrying," Dr Aboagye

Bunso (E/R), May, 29, GNA - Dr Lawrence Misa Aboagye, Acting Director of the Plant Generic Resources Research Institute at Bunso, on Friday expressed worry about continuous loss of plant resources through human and natural activities.

He said the situation had become serious due to such activities as farming, both slash and burn, construction of roads, towns, dams, bush fires and the application of chemicals. Dr Aboagye said if care was not taken, a time would come when the nation would lose all its plant resources.

The Acting Director expressed the concern when the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Ofosu- Ampofo, paid a familiarization visit to the institute.

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Dr Aboagye said that in order to arrest the situation, the institute to date had collected 9,966 legumes, cereals, vegetables, root and tuber crops, medicinal plant spices, timber species and wild species for conservation which include 7,914 local and 2,052 foreign , He said one major achievement of the institute was that it had collected the germplasm of various crops species from all over the country to forestall their disappearance due to genetic erosion which are the building of block of breeding programmes of many researchers in the country.

He said some of the challenges facing the institute included frequent power outages, in-adequate funds for research and commercialization activities, inadequate equipment and accommodation. Others included land limitation for expansion, lack of well defined policy on PGR in Ghana, declining number of germplasm under conservation and high staff attrition.

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo commended the institute on its contribution to conservation of plant resources over the years and appealed to them to come out with a processing plant to produce fruit juice in order to take care of post harvest losses of many citrus products in the country.

Source: GNA
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