The University of Ghana (UG) has signed a five-year agreement worth 2.9 million dollars with USAID/Ghana, to improve higher education in agricultural research and innovation.

A statement issued in Accra on Thursday and signed by Mrs Stella A. Amoa, Director of Public Affairs, UG indicated that the amount will be used to support higher education programmes at the School of Agriculture (SA), College of Applied and Basic Sciences and the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement Scholarships for Masters and PhD programmes.

“This will make it possible for young Ghanaian scientists to obtain world-class training in plant breeding, soil science, crops and agribusiness, as well as economic analysis and modeling in support of Ghana’s economic growth and transformation”.

The statement also emphasized that USAID will provide direct support to strengthen and maintain the University’s role as a leader in providing higher education training, particularly in agricultural research targeting food security crops such as rice, maize and soybeans.

It said the support will strengthen the University’s national and international research programmes by promoting further collaboration with the United States (US) Universities.

“In partnership with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and the Ministry of Education as well as the USAID and UG will ensure sustained food security and reduce poverty among farmers for generations to come”.

Mr Andrew Karas, USAID /Ghana’s Acting Mission Director noted that “future innovations in agricultural research and growth will be led by Ghanaians who are trained right here in Ghana. This requires access to world-class education to accelerate efforts towards achieving food security and prosperity in Africa for years to come”.

Professor John Ofosu-Anim, Dean of the SA, said the funding will contribute immensely to building human capacity in Agriculture for Ghana, in line with the School’s vision of contributing to sustainable human development in agriculture.

“Under this project, the SA in particular, will offer training to extension officers of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and farmers which will enable them contribute significantly to the attainment of food and security in Ghana”, he added.

The UG is the largest university in Ghana founded in 1948 for the purpose of providing and promoting higher education, learning and research, while USAID is the lead US Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potentials.

It supports Ghana to improve basic health care, food security, enhance access to quality basic education, and strengthen local governance to benefit Ghanaians.

Credit: GNA