A three-year research project undertaken by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (WOTRO) focused on agriculture are expected to contribute to improving sustainable access to sufficient and healthy food for the most security policy and be aligned with the Netherlands Embassy’s Multi Annual Strategic Plan in Ghana
Mr Thierry van Helden, First Secretary of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Ghana has urged government to invest in agricultural research to create enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.
“Research should not just be done in a research institution and stay on the shelf not been applied, as a Dutch Embassy we also find it important for the private sector to be involved because in the end the private sector is also the driving force of change in the agricultural sector
“Ghana and the Netherlands the relationship is still changing. It is transitioning from a development related relationship to a trading relationship and by 2020 it will move much more to an exclusive trading relationship.
“In Ghana we are investing in those areas that have most potential for collaboration between Ghana and the Netherlands so in agriculture we are looking at cocoa, palm oil, horticulture and to some extent poultry and aquaculture because those the sectors that we think can be a win for both Ghana and the Netherlands
“This is because for Ghana it helps for the transformation of those sectors productivity and give Ghana access to hard currency earnings for cocoa, palm oil and also export of vegetables and for the Netherlands is an opportunity to team with Ghana for the exchange of high quality equipment’s and high level technology”, he said.
He said the first project, is a development of an automated solar powered fruit drying technology for smallholder farmers in Ghana.
The second project is a kind of a weather station so that farmers can get access to weather data to be able to apply pesticides or fertilizers appropriately.
The third he said is to transform waste into compost for farmers to use to increase the fertility of the soils and the fourth project is to increase their livelihoods and foods by growing crops under canopies in cocoa growing areas.
Dr Cora Govers, Coordinator Food and Business Research (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research added that each had been granted 300,000 Euros for each project for effective execution.