In the global agriculture landscape, countries like Israel have transformed seemingly inhospitable lands into bountiful crop-yielding farms through innovative research and technology.
However, Ghana ponders its delayed stride in this agricultural evolution, echoing sentiments raised by Dr. Mahmudu Bawumia.
In a recent interview, Dr. Evans Nunoo, an economist and management consultant, emphasized the pivotal role of research and technology in revolutionizing Ghana's agricultural sector.
He voiced concern over successive governments' disregard for harnessing these advancements, accusing them of prioritizing personal gain over national development.
Highlighting Ghana's staggering $2.6 billion expenditure on food imports, Dr. Nunoo underscored the adverse impact on the populace, amplifying the socio-economic divide.
He lamented that the influx of imports not only cripples the nation's economy but also diminishes job opportunities for locals, exacerbating impoverishment.
Offering pragmatic solutions, Dr. Nunoo proposed a strategic shift towards increasing exports while reducing imports. He advocated diversifying Ghana's export portfolio beyond cocoa, pointing out untapped potential in crops like cashews and coconut, capable of boosting foreign revenue if cultivated optimally.
Secondly, he stressed the urgent need for substantial investment in research and technology, especially in educational institutions.
Dr. Nunoo expressed dismay over the government's inadequate measures to propel technological advancement, warning that failure to embrace suitable technology would perpetuate Ghana's stagnation in development.
Addressing research disparities between academia and industry, Dr. Nunoo highlighted the necessity for high-quality student research supported by modern teaching equipment.
He emphasized that this synergy would bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical applications, fostering industrial growth.
Despite criticism, Dr. Nunoo acknowledged the current administration's efforts in data dissemination, acknowledging the Ghana Statistical Service's consistent data provision, albeit suggesting room for improvement.
In conclusion, he lauded Dr. Mahmudu Bawumia's advocacy for research and technology in agriculture, provided it stems from genuine intentions.
The resounding message echoed a call for immediate action, urging Ghana's leaders to pivot towards a future centered on innovative research and technological integration to uplift the agricultural sector.