Author Archives: Papa Kwodwo Arhin

Central Region gets New Passport Application Centre, office commissioned in Cape Coast

For years, the people of Cape Coast – hub of Ghana Tourism – and Central Region as a whole have been crying and calling for a Passport Application Centre since they have to travel long distances to acquire this important document [passport].

In response to that, an ultra-modern Passport office has been commissioned in Cape Coast to serve the need of prospective passport applicants in the Central Region.

The office will now ease the stress of acquiring the identity and travelling document as applicants will not be required to travel to either Accra or Takoradi for that purpose.

Speaking at the commissioning, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration – Charles Owiredu – stated that the commissioning of the Cape Coast Passport Application Centre is in line with the government’s aim of helping Ghanaians to apply for passports with ease.

“A week ago the president commissioned the new passport head office at Ridge. The refurbished building will serve as a permanent office for central operations and production where Regional Application Centres are served. By next week, 13 Passport Application Centres would have been commissioned across the country.

“Also, preparations are underway for the establishment of additional Passport Application Centres in Bolgatanga and in the six created Regions by 2021. This is in line with the president’s vision of bringing passport services to the doorstep of Ghanaians” he said.

He also noted that the commissioning of Passport Application Centres throughout the country is a vivid demonstration of government’s commitment to good governance through decentralization and de-concentration of essential public services.

Related article: Discourage activities of ‘Goro Boys’ at our new passport office – Osabarima to staff

According to Mr Owiredu, the establishment of the Passport Application Centre in the Central Region will also create employment opportunities for the youth in the Region.

“It is also envisaged that opening of this Passport Application Centre will unleash more opportunities in the supply chain where the youth could take advantage and set up their own small businesses”.

The newly commissioned passport office in Cape Coast

The Central Regional Minister, Mr Kwamena Duncan, on his part called for the need to establish regional offices for all government agencies in the country saying “the move will end long queues at the various public offices and enhance access.”

Read also WAKANDA CITY OF RETURN: Cape Coast signs MoU with African Diaspora Development Institute, others for creation of Ultra-Modern Smart City

He noted that the regular practice where some regional offices of government agencies are tasked to oversee the activities of others breeds inefficiency which according to him is unacceptable.

“At least if we are unable to get offices in all districts, there must at least be regional offices so the people of the region can easily access the services of that particular government agency” he noted.

Mr Duncan added, “I call on all of us, the people of this region that, we must join in strength, join in heart and mind to ask that all such public institutions ensure that even if they don’t have district offices, they must have regional offices.”

MTN arms Oguaa Traditional Council against Covid-19 re-insurgence

As part of national efforts to contain the re-insurgence of COVID-19, MTN Ghana has donated quantities of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Oguaa Traditional Council.

The Regional Senior Manager for Western and Central Regions, Mr Prince Owusu Nyarko, presented the PPEs such hand sanitizers, packs of tissue paper and gallons of liquid soap as its token to subdue the pandemic.

Mr Nyarko explained that the donation was to replace the company’s annual donation towards the Oguaa Fetu Afahye, which was postponed due to the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus.

That, according to him was a demonstration of MTN’s commitment to see Ghana overcome the pandemic by contributing significantly to augment government’s efforts.

He commended the chiefs and people for their continued determination to observe the COVID-19 protocols and taking the precaution to curtail the spread of the virus.

Read also WAKANDA CITY OF RETURN: Cape Coast signs MoU with African Diaspora Development Institute, others for creation of Ultra-Modern Smart City

“Even though Ghana has been largely successful in the fight over the past months, the past few weeks witnessed a steady rise in the number again due to non-adhering to the protocols.

“This rise underscores our presence here today as we cannot rest on our oars, but continue to fight the spread of the virus” he said.

The manager was hopeful the presentation would go a long way to support the chiefs and people of the area to observe the protocols and to stay safe.

Mr Nyarko encouraged Ghanaians to adhere strictly to all the safety protocols issued by local, national and global authorities in fighting the pandemic.

Read also “Educated Cape Coasters and some Fantes are behaving as if there is some heavenly laid down procedure for fixing the city’s problems” – Kwabotwe Old Boy

Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, Omanhen of Oguaa traditional area received the items and commended MTN-Ghana for the gesture saying it was a timely reminder to alert them to defeat the pandemic.

He cautioned that COVID-19 was not over and encouraged all to observe the safety protocols.

KNUST Female Professor named among Top Global Scientists

Professor Marian Asantewah Nkansah of the Department of Chemistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana has been named among the top 10 scientists in Africa. She was also named among the top 60 scientists around the world in the 2020 Analytical Scientists Power List.

The Analytical Scientists Power List recognises scientists around the globe who tell unique stories. It also focuses on people, technology and innovations, by shaping the measurement of science.

It covers analytical science by telling stories- delving into the hopes, fears, motivations and aspirations of key figures in the field. Analytical science likewise encourages cross-pollination of ideas through an accessible and solutions-based approach.

Prof. Marian Asantewah Nkansah is an Associate Professor at the Department of Chemistry of KNUST. She holds a PhD in Environmental Chemistry from the University of Bergen-Norway and obtained her BSc. and MSc. from KNUST in 2002 and 2005 respectively. She teaches Chemistry at both the Undergraduate and Graduate levels.

Read also KNUST maintains its enviable position as the best University in Ghana and the 12th Best University in Africa

Professor Nkansah’s research interests span a wide range of fields including finding solutions to environmental problems associated with levels and fate of toxic substances like heavy/trace metals, persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in different environmental matrices. She has quite a number of peer reviewed articles and books to her credit.

Prof. Nkansah has received training in Science Diplomacy and Science Advice for Policy. She has been on both national and international platforms where science is discussed for better public understanding. She has been involved with the Ghana Academy of Arts and Science in their high school outreach programmes.

In recognition of her contribution to public understanding of science, she was featured in the first ever book on ‘African Women in Science’, a project of the Network of African Science Academies in partnership with the Inter-Academy Partnership in November, 2016.

Read also Bigmanism: A canker destroying local businesses

In June 2017, during the 67th Lindau Nobel Laureates meeting in Germany, Marian spoke on the same panel with scientists like Prof. Helga Nowotny (Vice-President of the Council of Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings) and Prof. William E. Moerner (2014 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry).

The topic was ‘science in the post-truth era’. The discourse echoed the need for scientists to communicate their findings devoid of jargons so that conspiracy theorists will not distort the facts to discredit science and influence public opinion. She has also spoken at the Science Forum of South Africa (SFSA).

Prof. Nkansah is a member of the Global Young Academy, an affiliate of TWAS and AAS and a founding member of the Ghana Young Academy. She is the inaugural recipient of the TWAS F.M Al-Kharafi Prize in 2016. Prof. Nkansah is a Fellow of the Next Einstein’s Forum (NEF) and Member of the Global Young Academy (GYA).

Read also School of Veterinary Medicine of KNUST conducts anti-rabies vaccination campaign at Sekyere Central District

She is also a member of the Women in STEM Ghana group and is committed to the mentorship of female university students particularly those in STEM fields, and serves as a role model for young girls at the basic level of their education.

She enjoys teaching and loves to share her experiences with the people she meets. She also enjoys storytelling, travelling and hiking.

Former President of Ghana Jerry John Rawlings is dead

The Former President of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings, is reported dead. He is said to have died Thursday morning at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) in Accra Graphic Online has gathered.

Mr Rawlings had been on admission at Korle Bu for about a week for an undisclosed ailment.

Graphic Online gathers he felt sick after his mother’s burial about three weeks ago.

Born on June 22, 1947, Graphic Online gathers that he passed on Thursday morning.

As a former Ghanaian military leader and subsequent politician, Mr Rawlings led a military junta from 1981 until 1992, and then served two terms as the democratically elected President of Ghana from January 7, 1993 to January 6, 2001.

Mr Rawlings initially came to power as a flight lieutenant of the Ghana Air Force following a coup d’état in 1979.

Prior to that, he led an unsuccessful coup attempt against the ruling military government on May 15, 1979, just five weeks before scheduled democratic elections were due to take place.

After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took back control of the country on December 31, 1981 as the Chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).

In 1992, Mr Rawlings resigned from the military, founded the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and became the first President of the 4th Republic.

He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years.

After two terms in office, the limit according to the Ghanaian Constitution, Rawlings endorsed his vice-president John Atta Mills as presidential candidate in 2000.

WAKANDA CITY OF RETURN: Cape Coast signs MoU with African Diaspora Development Institute, others for creation of Ultra-Modern Smart City

The City of Cape Coast has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with African Diaspora Development Institute (ADDI) and two local companies, to pave the way for the creation of an Ultra-Modern Smart City christened, WAKANDA CITY OF RETURN in Cape Coast Oguaa.

On 12th November, 2020 the City of Cape Coast and ADDI will host a global virtual press conference to announce the creation of this defining project, Wakanda City of Return.

Leveraging on the heritage and cultural tourism asset of Ghana, the partners desire to create a place of pilgrimage for the people of African descent to know about their history, culture, civilization of Africa and our role in the creation of the new world economy.

The project is a private sector-led initiative to develop the coastline and new areas of Cape Coast by creating a heritage experience with the provision of 5-Star hotels, retreat/ health resort, conference center, entertainment and the construction of the Ultra-Modern continental corporate headquarters for ADDI.

The two local companies involved in this joint venture with African Diaspora Development Investment are The Pelicape Limited and Adepa Africa Investments.

The project is expected to create about three thousand (3,000) jobs in the Cape Coast area.

The project couldn’t be timed better, as the country is benefiting from the presidential initiative of the hugely successful “Year of Return” and the “Beyond the Return” tourism initiatives.

The recent announcement by the government to build an airport in Cape Coast also ties in perfectly with such a strategic heritage tourism project like Wakanda City of Return.

Media Contacts:
Dr. Kojo Taylor 024-6119999
Richmond Yaw Yeboah: 020-2320671
Kwame Baidoo: 054-3250695

UENR congratulates Prof. John K. M. Kuwornu on his attainment of Full Professorship in Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness

The Management of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) has extended its warmest congratulations to Prof. John K. M. Kuwornu on the attainment of the position as a Full Professor.

Prof. Kuwornu becomes the first to be promoted to Full Professor in the University and also the first Full Professor in service in Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness in Ghana.

Professor J. K. M. Kuwornu is currently the Dean, School of Graduate Studies of the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani, Ghana.

Prof. J. K. M. Kuwornu has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics and Marketing from Wageningen University, Netherlands. He has about 154 Publications in high repute refereed journals, 59,422 Reads and 1833 Citations to his credit.

Read also Ghanaian Professor, Francis Dodoo Awarded Prestigious British Academy Global Professorship

His research and teaching focus on agribusiness management, agribusiness marketing, agricultural finance, agricultural economics, climate change economics, quantitative methods and econometrics.

He possesses strong analytical and conceptual skills as well as written and verbal communication skills.

UENR is proud to have such an astute academic who continues to bring on board his expertise in achieving the mission and vision of the University.

Read also Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Energy and Natural Resources

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Ghanaian Professor, Francis Dodoo Awarded Prestigious British Academy Global Professorship

Professor Francis Dodoo, immediate past Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Development of the Univeristy of Ghana, has been awarded the prestigious British Academy Global Professorship for fellowship at the Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science in Oxford University’s Department of Sociology and Nuffield College.

Professor Dodoo, a population scholar, joins the Centre in January 2021 as an internationally recognised researcher with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa and Africans in the diaspora.

Academically Professor Dodoo is a Liberal Arts Research Professor of Sociology and Demography, and the founding Director and Board Chair of the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) in Kenya.

In addition to his academic laurels, Professor Dodoo is a four-time Olympian in athletics. He chairs the Governance Commission of World Athletics and is a member of the Governance and Integrity Committee of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

In a publication by Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science to announce this good news they had the statement below to say:

“Professor Francis Dodoo is to join the Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science in Oxford’s Department of Sociology and Nuffield College as one of three new British Academy Global Professors at the University of Oxford.

Read also Prof. Kwame Agyei Frimpong Receives African Plant Nutrition Outreach Fellowship Award

The British Academy annually funds 10 Global Professorships in the UK, seeking to attract experienced international academics to contribute to UK higher education while conducting research at British universities.

The programme demonstrates and enhances the UK’s commitment to international research collaboration, while strengthening domestic capacity and capability in the social sciences and humanities. The British Academy will provide funding support for four years.

Professor Dodoo, who joins the centre in January 2021, received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. The Ivy League-trained population scholar is an internationally-recognised researcher with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa and Africans in the diaspora.

He has worked in the areas of gender, power and sexual decision-making; demographic and health outcomes associated with urban poverty; inequality issues among Africans in the diaspora; and on building research capacity in Africa.

Read also Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Energy and Natural Resources

Professor Dodoo’s current focus is on studying how bride-wealth payment — long considered a mechanism for consolidating marriage in sub-Saharan Africa — affects the normative reproductive autonomy of married women on the continent.

He will explore how levels of bride-wealth payment impact women’s ability to control their reproductive goals, how that ability translates preferences into behaviour, and how this in turn is conditioned by lineage, ethnicity, urban environment and education.

Professor Dodoo will be affiliated with the Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science, Department of Sociology and Nuffield College, where he will work with Professor Melinda Mills, Director of the Centre, on collecting data and strengthening genomic, demographic and health research in Africa, and Dr. Ridhi Kashyap on comparing Africa’s bride-wealth with India’s dowry traditions.

Professor Melinda Mills, Director of the Leverhulme Centre, says: ‘We are elated that such a prestigious demographer will join our demographic science centre and bring decades of expertise and a focus on Sub-Saharan African demography and population.

Read also Dr. Michael Osei Adu receives an award of Best Evolving Researcher at the UCC Research Awards and Grants

His work on men, African populations and fertility decision making is exceptional. I also hope to learn from his vast experience of institutional and individual research capacity building in Sub-Saharan Africa.’

Professor Francis Dodoo says: ‘After the last decade or so focusing on institutional building, including my recent service as Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Development [at the University of Ghana] I am delighted at the opportunity to return to a full-time focus on my research.

The prospect of being at the world’s top-ranked university is mind-blowing, and the brand new Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science (LCDS) and Oxford’s Department of Sociology present excellent collaborative possibilities with exceptional scholars and students.

This would be a fine opportunity to bring new expertise and knowledge on sub-Saharan Africa, assist in growing the Leverhulme Centre, and help in deepening relationships with the continent.’

Read also First successful True Potato Seed (TPS) trial of Solynta and Solidaridad in Mozambique shows great potential

Professor Dodoo has been Liberal Arts Research Professor of Sociology and Demography at Pennsylvania State University, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Development at the University of Ghana, and founding director of the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) in Kenya.

He is a four-time Olympian in athletics and has been decorated with the Grand Medal of the Republic of Ghana. He currently chairs the Governance Commission of World Athletics and is a member of the Governance and Integrity Committee of the Commonwealth Games Federation. He also chairs the board of the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP).”

Read also UCC Reviews Graduate Programmes to Respond to Socio-Economic and Technology Development – VC

Congratulations to you Prof Dodoo.

Farmers Day 2020: Issifu Ayamba emerges Best Farmer in Tema West Municipality

A seventy year old crop farmer, Issifu Ayamba, from Bawku in the Upper East Region, on Friday, emerged overall Best Farmer in the Tema West Municipality.

For his prize, he received a tricycle, wheel barrow, weedicide, eight cutlasses, radio set, full piece of cloth, urea, hamper, two Knapsack sprayers, Wellington boots amongst other items.

Mr Ayamba, who farms along the Buena Vista stretch of farm lands, Klagon and Lashibi Emf, practices all year farming using six pumping machines, PVC pipelines, and 10 Knapsack sprayers.

He owns 10 acres of onion, 15 acres of tomatoes, three acres of Bell pepper, 10 acres of Okro, two acres of Bonnet pepper, 15 acres of maize, two acres of cucumber, 32 cattle, 41 sheep, 13 goats, 36 local fowls, and 15 guinea fowls.

Suleman Zakaria Ginkor, 34, from Bawku and a graduate of the University of Development Studies, Wa, was adjudged runner-up, whiles Madam Rejoice Hetty Ayivor, from Denu in the Volta Region was awarded Best Crop Farmer in the Municipality.

Best Livestock Farmer went to Baba Osman Iddrisu, while Gideon Buernor Apetorgbor was awarded Best Agriculture Extension Agent in the Tema West Municipality.

Mrs Adwoa Amoako, Municipal Chief Executive, Tema West Municipal Assembly, in a keynote address, paid glowing tribute to farmers and fisherfolks in the Municipality and said “in spite of the challenges Covid-19 posed to farmers nationwide, there was no shortage of food production in the country.”

Read also Farmers Day 2020: Vida Boame emerges best Krachi East Municipal farmer

This year’s Municipal Farmers’ Day commemoration, held at the Tema Senior High School in Tema Community Five, was on the national theme “Ensuring Agribusiness Development under Covid-19; Opportunities and Challenges.”

According to her, the theme for this year re-emphasized the position that the agricultural sector had placed itself in promoting agribusiness development under Covid – 19, which required the consumption of more fruits and vegetables to boost the immune system.

Mr Alfred Nii Ayi Clottey, Director of Agriculture, Tema West Municipal Assembly, said irrespective of the challenges of Covid-19, the municipality undertook some activities in crop production, market extension, fisheries and livestock production as it continued to work in communities to undertake the processing and marketing of agricultural produce.

Read also Accessing loan and chemicals in COVID-19 was difficult – Hohoe Best Farmer

Under the government’s flagship programme – Planting for Food and Jobs, he noted that some 769 farmers in the municipality benefited from highly subsidized prices for maize and vegetable inputs including improved seeds and fertilizers.

“As part of the programme, 321 farmers, both males and females, whose farms were affected by the fall army warm were supplied with agrochemicals by the government to spray and control the situation. This has resulted in a drastic reduction in the invasion of these warms due to extension education.”

He added, 50 farmers, benefited from cockerels distributed under the government’s “Rearing for Food and Jobs” and said “in the area of fisheries, there was close collaboration between the Department of Agriculture and the Ministry of Fisheries for fisheries activities in the municipality.”

Read also Review selection process and criteria for the National Best Farmer Award – Peasant Farmers

Mr Ayi Clottey said the uncontrolled real estate development in Municipality was stripping urban Tema of fertile lands for agricultural purposes, explaining that it was detrimental to food security if the trend was not urgently reversed.

Mr Carlos Ahenkora, Member of Parliament, Tema West Constituency, whiles reiterating the takeover of agrarian lands by real estate developers in the municipality, said agriculture was struggling to maintain its stake and if care was not taken, lands would be unavailable in the future for commercial farming.

Ghana: Government urged to enforce laws on the use of measuring scales

Farm Radio International, an agribusiness Non-Governmental Organisation, has appealed to the government to enforce laws on the use of measuring scales across the board to standardise produce in the Agribusiness value chain.

In a statement to mark the 2020 National Farmers Day, Farm Radio International (FRI) congratulated farmers for their hard work in feeding the nation and producing cash crops for foreign exchange.

A statement signed by Mr Benjamin Fiafor, the Country Director, Farm Radio International, said without the use of weight and measure for selling farm commodities in Ghana, there can be no meaningful agribusiness in Ghana.

Read also Farmers’ Day 2020: Techiman Traders captitalise on 36th National Farmers’ Day celebration

Mr Fiafor said broadening the scope of agribusiness and extension services delivery through extensive use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and the introduction of measuring scales were the obvious choices to achieving results in the agricultural sector.

He said Farm Radio International, in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) under the Directorate of Extension Services, was rolling out the Digital Agriculture Advisory Services Strategy and Plan (DAASSP) project to offer digital advisory services to farmers.

Read also Farmers’ Day 2020: MoFA refutes claims of unfairness in 2020 Farmers’ Day Awards Scheme

This, he stated, would help in scaling up agribusiness and extension services delivery, especially amid COVID-19, and its difficulties with physical extension work.

Farm Radio International is, therefore, calling on the government to promote and enforce the adoption and institutionalisation of standards, weight and measures for trading in agricultural commodities to enhance agribusiness in Ghana.

Stakeholders including the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ghana Standards Authority, the media, development partners, farmers and the public needed to join in the nationwide campaign on the use of standards, weight and measure in Ghana.

Read also Ghana: National Farmers Day to honour 135 farmers nationwide

This year’s national event is on the theme: “Agribusiness Development Under COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities.”

Mr Fiafor also commended all hardworking farmers who were contributing to the growth of agriculture in the country.

COCOBOD to set up Taskforce in Volta and Oti regions to combat smuggling

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is to set up an anti-smuggling task force in the Volta and Oti Regions.

Mr Solomon Donkor, the Volta and Oti Regional Managing Director, COCOBOD, who announced this, said the move would prevent farmers from selling cocoa beans to their counterparts in Togo.

It will also discourage the transportation of cocoa beans to and from the regions to other parts of the country.

Mr Donkor, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), after an engagement with managers, depot keepers and purchasing clerks of Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) in Hohoe, said the Directorate would involve the security agencies, Coordinating Councils of the two regions and members of COCOBOD in the task force.

Read also Farmers’ Day 2020: MoFA refutes claims of unfairness in 2020 Farmers’ Day Awards Scheme

“The taskforce is very necessary to embark on operation now. We are in the cocoa season now till February, where massive production is seen and the sales must be checked.

“We are coming out to do everything necessary and possible to manage the act to enable the government to get the best out of the investments being made in our farmers.”

He said the meeting was to give the Directorate first-hand information on the causes of low purchases of cocoa in the region.

Mr Donkor said two regions were noted for quality cocoa but annual production was on the decline despite support and interventions by COCOBOD to boost yields.

Read also Farmers’ Day 2020: Benjamin Yeboah wins Atebubu-Amantin Municipal Best Farmer

The Managing Director said the delay in release of funds, the cocoa price differential between Ghana and Togo and the monetary needs of cocoa farmers were some of the factors that led to the low buying of cocoa.

He said COCOBOD would sensitise the communities about the government’s investment to boost cocoa production and to transform farmers’ lives.

He said the farmers needed to reciprocate government’s support by selling the cocoa beans produced back to the government to increase production.

“We will tell the farmers that all the necessary support being utilities, government interventions, social and education that they need will be given them. Educate the farmers even on what they do and the risk of smuggling cocoa so that if they refuse and are caught, the necessary actions will be taken to deal with them.”

Mr Donkor revealed that the Directorate would introduce a passbook system “so that the number of chemicals that they receive, we are estimating that they have an increase of produce from their farms.”

Read also Farmers’ day 2020: Resilient agricultural sector helped our COVID-19 fight – Akufo-Addo

He noted that technical advisors, assistance and community extension agents were to assist farmers to adopt modern ways of farming.

The Managing Director said COCOBOD was rolling out a programme to recultivate old arable cocoa farms through the engagement of labourers.

The farmers would prepare the land while COCOBOD would take up the planting of the seedlings, plantain suckers and manage the farms for two years before releasing the farm to the farmers.

“The labourers who are working and taking care of the farms will be supported to maintain themselves while the government pays the farmer for the number of trees cut as well as based on the size of the farm.”

University of Cape Coast motivates staff to engage in cutting-edge research

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Prof. Johnson Nyarko Boampong, has announced an increase in the Research Support Grants (RSG) and Best Research Awards (BRAs) from GH¢600, 000 to GH¢1,000,000 to motivate faculty members to contribute meaningfully to society through cutting-edge research.

Prof. Boampong made this announcement at the Fifth Research Awards and Grants (RAG) Ceremony where 45 awards and grants were presented to academic and non-academic staff to carry out their research projects in specific areas.

Speaking on the significances of BRAs and RAGs, the Vice-Chancellor explained the Best Research Awards and Research Support Grants demonstrate the University’s commitments to providing resources and support to promote excellence and ensure it’s relevance to society.

“Many of the research projects funded under this scheme have yielded scholarly research output in high impact journals index in Scopus. This has contributed immensely to making UCC eligible for the Times Higher Education global ranking,” he stated.

To encourage faculty to improve on their research output, Prof. Boampong mentioned that the Directorate of Research Innovation and Consultancy has introduced UCC Research Output Monitor and Evaluator (UCCROME/ UCCSCHOLAR) which was the first in Africa.

“Through UCCRONE/UCCSCHOLAR, departments/faculties/schools/colleges can track their research endeavours to identify gaps and ways through which these can be plugged. It is a diagnostic tool to guide faculties on how they are faring using key performance indicators embedded in this web application,” he explained.

Read also UCC Reviews Graduate Programmes to Respond to Socio-Economic and Technology Development – VC

The Guest Speaker for the ceremony, Prof. Gordon Akanzuwine Awandare, spoke about promoting quality research and urged the University to make a conscious effort and commit a lot of resources to sustain the research ecosystem.

Prof. Awandare who is the founding Director of the West Africa Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) at the University of Ghana noted that UCC could be more visible and recognised if Management work towards focusing and maintaining research quality.

“ When you don’t work towards research excellence, no amount of spin or public relations will save you or make you look good,” he cautioned.

In order to become one of the leading centres of excellence, Prof. Awandare called on the University to take advantage of its numerous partnerships to enhance its goal towards achieving excellence. He said the University must strive to attract the best scientist by providing facilities; creating a vibrant research environment and good remuneration.

Read also Dr. Michael Osei Adu receives an award of Best Evolving Researcher at the UCC Research Awards and Grants

Explaining the processes and outcomes of the RAG and BRA, the Director of DRIC, Prof. Frederick Ato Armah, noted the number of applications had increased substantially since the inception of the awards scheme in 2016.

He said the Research Support Grants (RSGs) awarded for 2020 were 14 each for Individual and Group-led; four (4) for Inter-departmental; two (2) for Policy and practice-oriented RSG-University-wide; one (1) for Sam Jonah Library.

Others were five (5) for non-teaching senior members; one (1) for non-teaching junior members; one (1) for the Centre for Gender Research, Advocacy and Documentation (CEGRAD) and four (4) special funding.

Prof. Armah noted that the ceremony would provide an opportunity for research awardees and grantees to share their research output and experiences with policy-makers, academics, industrialists, civil society and the general public for the purpose of national socio-economic transformation.

He congratulated the awardees and grantees and then wished those who were unsuccessful better luck in the years ahead.

Read also First successful True Potato Seed (TPS) trial of Solynta and Solidaridad in Mozambique shows great potential

The Best Evolving Researcher award was won by Dr. Michael Osei Adu, Prof. Kwame Agyei Frimpong and Dr. Issahaku Adam. They were presented with cash, plaque and a certificate of recognition. Dr. Adu gave a presentation of his research project at the function.

At the College level, Dr. Brandford Bervell of the College of Distance Education, Dr. Richard Kobina Dadzie Ephraim of the College of Health and Allied Sciences; Dr. Samuel Kofi Tulashie of the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences and Dr. Hope Pius Nudzor of the College of Education Studies received the Best College Level Researcher Awards (BCLRAs) . Each of them received a cash prize, plaque and certificate of recognition.

Dr. Michael Osei Adu receives an award of Best Evolving Researcher at the UCC Research Awards and Grants

A Senior Lecturer at the Crop Science Department of the University of Cape Coast, Dr. Michael Osei Adu, has received the award of Best Evolving Researcher at the recently held at the Fifth Research Awards and Grants (RAG) Ceremony organized by the Directorate of Research, Innovation and Consultancy of the University of Cape Coast.

In all, 45 awards and grants were presented to academic and non-academic staff to carry out their research projects in specific areas.

According the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Johnson Nyarko Boampong, the Best Research Awards and Research Support Grants demonstrate the University’s commitments to providing resources and support to promote excellence and ensure it’s relevance to society.

“Many of the research projects funded under this scheme have yielded scholarly research output in high impact journals index in Scopus. This has contributed immensely to making UCC eligible for the Times Higher Education global ranking,” he stated.

Dr Michael Osei Adu is a Crop Improvement Scientist and a Senior Lecturer at the School of Agriculture, University of Cape Coast, Ghana (UCC).

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Before joining UCC, Michael was a Duke of Edinburgh Scholar from 2009 to 2010 during his Master’s degree in Crop Improvement at University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom.

He also held the prestigious Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship for Research Excellence for his PhD in Agricultural Sciences at the University of Nottingham, UK, from 2010 to 2014.

Michael’s research focuses on the physiology of crop plant’s abiotic stress, plant nutrition, rhizosphere interactions and mechanisms underlying resource acquisition and utilization by crops.

He is also interested in urban agriculture and agronomic practices that enhance availability and acquisition of resources by crops in low input farming systems.

Michael also has interests and expertise in agricultural research synthesis. He is particularly interested in the applications of meta-analysis and systematic reviews for impact assessment of agricultural research and food security studies.

Read also UCC Reviews Graduate Programmes to Respond to Socio-Economic and Technology Development – VC

Michael has expertise in policy-engagement and has worked on projects for Development Agencies including USAID. He currently has over 30 publications in high indexed journals, with key publications on quantifying the variations in root system architecture and root growth dynamics.

His research proposal that won him this recognition, focuses on the physiology of crop plants, abiotic stress, plant nutrition, rhizosphere interactions and mechanisms underlying resource acquisition and utilisation by crops especially in low inputs farming systems.

He is currently supervising about 6 MPhil and 5 PhD students at the university.

Read also First successful True Potato Seed (TPS) trial of Solynta and Solidaridad in Mozambique shows great potential

Other awards won include the following:

NoAwardsAwarding InstitutionYear
1Best College Researcher Award, College of Agriculture and Natural SciencesUniversity of Cape Coast2018
2Emerging Researcher AwardUniversity of Cape Coast2016
3Distinction, MSc Crop ImprovementUniversity of Nottingham2009
4Overall Best Student, MSc Crop ImprovementUniversity of Nottingham2009
5Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence AwardUniversity of Nottingham2009
6Duke of Edinburgh ScholarshipUniversity of Nottingham2009
7First Class Honours, BSc AgricultureUniversity of Cape Coast2005

Dr. Adu was presented with cash, plaque and a certificate of recognition and he also gave a presentation of his research project at the function

Congratulations from all of us at myaimreport.com.

KNUST maintains its enviable position as the best University in Ghana and the 12th Best University in Africa

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi has for the second successive time been ranked the best University in Ghana and the 12th best University in Africa, according to the US News and World Report rankings for 2021. The University ranked 14th best University in Africa last year.

KNUST is thus, ranked ahead of all public and private universities in Ghana to secure the topmost position as the best University in Ghana; the University is also placed ahead of over 40 Universities in Africa such as; University of Casablanca Hassan in Morocco, the University of Makerere in Uganda, Ain Shams University in Egypt which occupied the 13th, 14th and 15th positions respectively with University of Ghana placing 24th in the ranking.

Read also First successful True Potato Seed (TPS) trial of Solynta and Solidaridad in Mozambique shows great potential

KNUST obtained a global score of 48.2, as against 42.4 last year, a global reputation for research at 1,075, an improvement on last year’s score of 1,044, a regional research reputation of 20 and 1,522 publications.

The University also published over 1,323 books, presented over 1,564 papers at various conferences, obtained normalised citation impact of 16 and a total citation of 945.

Read also ‘Clearing honey’s name’: Here are Ten common myths about honey

Additionally, KNUST secured 1,336 Number of publications that are among the 10% most cited papers, 852 percentage of total publications that are among the 10% most cited, 885 number of highly cited papers that are among the top 1% most cited and 166 percentages of highly cited papers among the top 1% most cited.

The KNUST Medical School was also ranked 264th best in terms of Clinical Medicine globally and had an overall score of 55.5.

The School also attained Clinical Medicine global research reputation of 591, regional research reputation of 23, Clinical Medicine publications of 856 articles, Clinical Medicine normalized citation impact of 15 and total citation of 405. The Medical School again had 704 publications that are among 10% most cited papers.

In terms of collaboration, KNUST had 477 international collaborations relative to country and 23 international collaborations.

Read also UCC Reviews Graduate Programmes to Respond to Socio-Economic and Technology Development – VC

This latest ranking places KNUST as the best and most prestigious University in Ghana.

The U.S. News & World Report is a multi-platform organisation based in the Washington D.C. which is in the business of ranking and evaluating universities based on their research performance and its ratings by members of the academic community around the world.

Check image below for the rankings:

KNUST Ranked 12th Best University in Africa

Read also KNUST to be home to an Innovative Training Center for Supply-Chain Management in Africa

UCC Reviews Graduate Programmes to Respond to Socio-Economic and Technology Development – VC

UCC is Reviewing Graduate Programmes to Respond to Socio-Economic and Technology Development

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Prof. Johnson Nyarko Boampong has indicated that the University is reviewing its academic activities to give students practical experience to make graduate programmes relevant to socio-economic and technology development.

Prof. Boampong noted that, the review would help empower the graduates to be more self-reliant to create their own businesses and employ others.

The Vice-Chancellor made these statements at the 4th Session of the 53rd Congregation dedicated to the School of Graduate Studies (SGS). He remarked that “In line with our corporate vision and strategies, we shall continue to galvanize efforts and marshal the required resources to support the course of graduate education at the University of Cape Coast”.

A total of 2,506 graduates from the School of Graduate Studies made up of 91 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), 207 Master of Philosophy (MPhil), 21 Master of Commerce (MCom), 9 Master of Nursing (MN), 733 Master of Education (MED), 881 Master of Business Administration (MBA), 9 Executive Masters, 231 Master of Science (MSc), 281 Master of Arts (MA), 41 Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) and 2 Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

Electronic Submission of Thesis
In order to improve postgraduate research, the Vice-Chancellor announced that the SGS, in collaboration with the Sam Jonah Library, would soon implement Electronic submission of thesis/dissertation.

“We have a plan to have a fully integrated and robust system where the process from the supervision stage, involving the student and supervisor right down to the final submission of the thesis, will be electronic-based,” he added.

The Vice-Chancellor further explained that “What this means, is that, the traditional system of submission of hard copies of thesis, to SGS would be replaced by an online submission system known as UCCET/D submission platform. In addition to the electronic submission system, the School has also implemented the similarity index, using the Turnitin software, to check for plagiarism and copied work in all theses and dissertations”.

Improving Research
Another innovation he mentioned was that the University through the Directorate of Research, Innovation and Consultancy had initiated was the UCC Research Output Monitor and Evaluator (UCCROME) which is an electronic platform, for tracking research impact of UCC faculty members, Colleges and the University in general

“Based on Google Scholar database, the UCCROME will track and rank the research publications, citation counts, H-index, and i-10 index of faculty members, College, and the University over a given period of time. A major advantage of UCCROME is that, it trails our research output since 1960 till date. It is also a diagnostic tool to identify gaps in our research portfolio and output” he explained.

The Chancellor, Dr. Sir Sam Jonah, in his welcome address, congratulated the graduates on their successful graduation. “Today, you have proven to all of us here celebrating you that, you are people that challenge, break out, and re-define boundaries. I am aware that you have braved many different storms to create this pathway of the expression of what is meaningful to you,” he added.

Dr. Sir Jonah advised the graduating students to remember that every moment was an opportunity to learn from the people around them no matter their status.

“Do not underestimate anyone you meet along the way. They may be holding the keys you need to unlock opportunities. In your line of work or activity, pay attention when they do not and be sensitive to the reactions of the people around you,” he advised.

He asked them to build relationships with people who face challenges by being their solution adding that “Be that unique person that sees a gem in what everyone sees as dirt”.

The Valedictorian, Dr. Andrews Agyekumhene, noted that though the academic journey was tortuous and difficult, they had to sacrifice quality time with their families in order to concentrate and complete the programme on time.

He pointed out that the Corona Virus had a serious toll on their academic work saying “And just when we thought the hustles and bustles of academic life were over and started looking to graduation day, the much dreaded Corona Virus showed its ugly face, almost depriving us of this beautiful day. But in spite of all these hurdles, today, we too can proudly say we have made it”.

Dr. Agyekumhene averred that as they leave the University, they had been shaped with a more global perspective of issues because they were better equipped with specialised knowledge and skills.

“And we leave as individuals poised to take on the challenges of Ghana and Africa. And I dare to say we are ready for the challenges of the world,” he noted. He thanked the lecturers for the quality tuition and mentorship they provided them during their period of study at the University.

Among the dignitaries at the Congregation, were the Chairman of Council, Mrs. Nancy O. C. Thompson; Omanhen of the Ogua Traditional Area, Osabarima Kwesi Atta II; Omanhen of the Owirenkyi Traditioanal Area, Nana Prah Agyensaim.

Others were Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dora F. Edu-Buandoh; Registrar, Mr. Jeff Teye Onyame; former Vice-Chancellors, Prof. D. D. Kuupole and Prof. Joseph Ghartey Ampiah. Also present were Provosts, Deans, Heads of Department, representatives of Vice-Chancellors, and Registrars from other Universities.

Solidaridad teams up with Hendrix Genetics for a Sustainable Poultry Program in Mozambique and Zambia

Solidaridad is excited to get started on this new program with our partners at Hendrix Genetics, aimed at improving income and food security.

With Africa’s animal protein market expected to expand in the coming years the importance of poultry and eggs as an important source of sustainable protein will grow too.

Poultry provides some of the most inexpensive animal proteins that can be produced domestically, and as such is an important element in the livelihoods and food security of small farmers.

Solidaridad and Hendrix Genetics have partnered to develop sustainable poultry production in Mozambique and Zambia, Africa.

With this project, a positive impact can be made in the lives of local farmers and their families. Through Sasso, Hendrix Genetics’ traditional poultry genetic brand, poultry farmers in Mozambique and Zambia will be connected with robust and well performing dual-purpose birds tailored for the individual needs of the market.

Solidaridad, as the project’s implementing partner, develops sustainable production practices that provide profitable markets for smallholder soy farmers.

This project will make use of soy crops as a source of poultry feed, reducing waste and producing more with fewer resources.

This has the potential to transform the Southern African soy sector and to increase sustainability in the region.

Hendrix Genetics, headquartered in the Netherlands, is a leading multi-species breeding company with primary activities in turkeys, layers, traditional poultry, swine, and aquaculture breeding.

Backed by a strong portfolio of leading brands, Hendrix Genetics provides expertise and resources to producers in more than 100 countries, with operations and joint ventures in 25 countries and over 3,400 employees worldwide.

Drone Technology: See how precision agriculture is transforming farmers’ livelihoods in Ghana

Just less than three years, a young farmer by the name, Kofi Darko who lives at Akrpong in the Eastern region decided to venture into farming. It was not an easy decision to make. Agriculture is generally regarded as a high-risk economic activity in Ghana. Financial institutions are reluctant to offer financial supports given the precariousness of the business.

“I went to different banks to apply for a loan, but all of them turned me down,’’ Mr. Darko, who is hoping to expand his five-acre pineapple farm subtly said.

The main reasons why the banks have been reluctant in lending to the agriculture sector include high-risk perception of the sector, lack of adequate risk management tools, and existential risks such as diseases, pests, and changes in climatic factors.

Smallholder pineapple farmers are predominantly located in the Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, and Volta regions in Ghana—the ecological zones known for growing the fruits but over the years lack the needed capital to produce on a commercial basis.

Most smallholder farmers living in rural communities have limited access to financial services like savings accounts. As a result, 36% of farmers in Ghana save their monies at home.

According to GSMA, only 20% save their money in a bank and 28% save their monies on a mobile money wallet. Others save with village institutions, credit unions, and ‘susu’ (small personal savings) collectors.

Formal institutions like banks are unable to access this information to understand the economic activities of a farmer who is usually regarded as high risk. As a result, Farmers usually secure loans from other informal sources like friends, purchasing clerks (who are also usually farmers), money lenders who charge high interests rate.

“The banks usually informed me that my farming business, even though it looks promising, there is no guarantee that I can repay the loan. I felt that this is not right and even thought of changing my mind,’’ Darko emphasised.

“The banks do not help us because I think they have done some before, and the farmers have failed them, therefore as a farmer applying for a bank loan is usually unsuccessful. The local market is not reliable somehow—it can be that today pineapple sells at the cost of 2.50 cedis, the following week the price reduces to 1.50 cedis, so the bank looks at the fluctuations in prices and decides that if they give you money to do business, the farmer cannot pay back the loan,” says Mr. Emmanuel Appiah, a pineapple farmer and a beneficiary of the drone and precision agriculture project.

However, Emmanuel Appiah, farmer at Nsadwi in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abbrem (KEEA) district has now found immense hope in technology courtesy of drone and precision agriculture to transform his production level to a higher level.

The Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension of the University of Cape Coast and partners are assisting smallholder farmers with relevant and real-time information on the pineapple production process required by farmers to produce varieties that are important for the market and in the most productive way.

Drone technology is providing farmers with reliable information based on the farmers’ own land and crops’ requirements to optimize crop production, produce high-quality fruits, minimize production cost, and meet consumer preferences.

“Since I started the programme it has given me more knowledge. Two or three years ago, I had about two or three acres but now only this year, I have planted 6 acres of pineapples and looking forward to expanding even further,” Appiah mentioned.

“If I harvest 2000 fruits of a good size, I can get 3000 cedis and I use that to cater to my family and that is why I am expanding my farm this year,” he added.

The problem of marketing for Emmanuel Appiah’s pineapples has been addressed by the project, thus, the farmer now sells directly to HPW Fresh & Dry Ltd. located at Adeiso 70 km from the capital, Accra. The company is the largest producer of naturally dried mango, pineapple, and whole coconut in West Africa, processing over 20,000 tons of fresh fruit, exporting 2,000 tons of dried fruits.

Instead of relying on extension officer visits and low returns from informal pineapple traders, an information system has been established to link farmers to production and market information – and to each other.

The system uses drones (small, unmanned aircraft) that provide feedback information on crop health, performance, and yield estimates and then relay this through a mobile phone platform linking farmers to extension agents, markets, and the university.

“Since we started to sell our product to HPW Fresh & Dry Ltd, I can say that it is far better than the local market. Since I started pineapple farming in 1990, what I get from the company HPW is higher than what I sold to the local market,” Appiah says.

According to him, the project has offered great knowledge in terms of record-keeping, plastic mulch, application of inputs, planting in rows, planting pineapples in intervals, all helping to increase the yield on his farm.

He said that the project has been a lifeline to their economic activity and helping farmers to have a decent living and eventually helping to cater for their households.

“Our pineapples are now directly sent to the market via HPW without any transportation difficulties. At first, we did not have any company to sell to and that created a lot of problems as the post-harvest loss is a concern, but now things are getting better since I have ready markets for my produce,” Mr. Nyame, at Nsadwir said.

“In the past, we did not know anything about nursing of pineapple but due to the project, we now do, and that is helping us to do the right things on the farm which will eventually improve the pineapple production in the long term,” he said.

“Currently, we have access to land for pure organic production of pineapples which will help us to get even more profits to promote our standard of living,” he stated.

He mentioned that since the project seeks to establish a factory, it will help the farmers to deal directly with the team and also not focus solely on pineapples production but also other fruits.

Mr. Zikiru Shaibu, a Ph.D. student who is working on the project said that the project has exposed farmers to market opportunities, therefore, if they should produce more of the pineapples, they would get more income.

“They are making more yields now, they are having good prices which means their income is increasing leading to increase of farm size, getting premium money to support themselves and their families, he said”

To Shaibu, the farmers’ knowledge development in terms of using the right agro-inputs like pesticides, fertilizer, how to use the application schedule, all these knowledge resources have improved. Now they have knowledge on some of the pineapple varieties we have, not only what they grow but new ones to adopt.

Sustainability of the project
Mr. Zikiru Shaibu is specializing in agricultural extension and ICT indicated that the project looks at not only focusing on pineapples production but the entire value chain from inputs, through production, processing, and then marketing, until it even reaches even the consumer.

The project off-take farmers’ products and sell them. We are establishing a processing plant for value addition. The processing plant is at the production stage and we are using drone technology, and mobile phones to enhance productivity. Sustainability wise things being put in place like machines, and other resources to continue with the project. After the project, we would still continue with the activities.

The project is designed in such a way that the farmers would be supported with some materials to establish their own farms so once the project ends, there would still be produced for the market.

Even though the government of Ghana’s new initiative — Planting for Food and Jobs seeks to contribute to the modernization of the agriculture sector, thereby leading to the structural transformation of the national economy through food security, employment opportunities, and reduced poverty, there are many challenges to agriculture, such as climate change, lack of access to input and markets accessibility; lack of basic infrastructure in rural areas, lack of extension services, and the lack of research and development facilities.

The major challenge with sustainability is the technology or inputs, like tractors. There are limited tractors in the central region and the farmers do not get access to them when needed. There are some simple tools that are not available in the country unless there is a collaboration with the Chinese to develop it for you.

Project in perspective
Most of the smallholder farmers producing pineapple variety named “Sugar Loaf” mainly sells at the local market and at low prices, leading to low income. The situation makes pineapple cultivation unattractive.

Meeting the demands of the export market and agro-processing industries is one way for smallholders to increase their income level and improve their livelihoods.

The project is therefore using drones and precision agriculture to assist farmers in upscale their pineapple production.

“Aerial views and advice based on index maps generated using drone technology enabled them to be more effective and efficient in managing the farm and ensure improved plant growth and higher yields,” says the principal investigator, Festus Annor-Frempong.

The drone, a Parrot Bluegrass, was used to map the demonstration plot and also captured initial relevant agronomic data of the crops on the field. The map enabled farmers to appreciate the shape and size of the demonstration plot.

The sensors of the drone collect multispectral and Red, Green, Blue (RGB) imagery of the pineapple crops. The captured imagery was processed to generate index maps.

These index maps showed the chlorophyll content of individual pineapple plants which were used to estimate the nutrient requirement of plants and provide recommended fertilizers to be applied by the farmers.

Improving farmers’ knowledge and situations
The project team measured the impact of drone technology on farmers’ livelihoods in terms of crop performance which is likely to generate more income and changes in competencies in pineapple production.

The experience with farmers with respect to the management of the demonstration plot prompted the team to share knowledge on principles of precision agriculture with the farmers.

Farmers learned about the type, quantity, and effect of various elements in a fertilizer and pesticide application, and the need to use these agrochemicals effectively and efficiently without causing harm to the environment.

RGB composite image of pineapple fields

From the RGB images and index maps developed using multispectral imagery, smallholder farmers were able to gain an enhanced bird’s eye view of the demonstration plot.

The group discussions helped farmers to discover the relationship between land size and the crop density, land size, and the number of agrochemicals required, and the costs involved in the production of a particular area.

The map from the drone technology demonstrated the importance of having clear plot boundaries to prevent conflicts and disputes with neighbours as well as optimization of land use.

Hitherto, the traditional process of determining plot boundaries was not as precise, usually being orally transmitted, and depends on the location of natural boundaries such as trees and stumps.

Moreover, the map and size of the demonstration plot from the drone technology enabled farmers to plan various road paths, and the number of ridges to construct on the plot. The pineapple farmers proved to be knowledgeable and well informed in crop husbandry.

Farmers were in the position to prepare the land properly to allow the soil to retain sufficient moisture for plant growth and used a bed height of about 20 centimeters with a breadth of one meter, and a length of 100 meters to improve drainage.

The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) maps showed significant changes in the growth of the pineapple plants months after the application of various agronomical practices. The applications were dependent on information from previously obtained NDVI index maps of the demonstration plots.

Farmers subsequently planned on the appropriate and adequate usage of agrochemicals based on the colour bands of the NDVI index maps. The different colours on the map signify the health status of the pineapple. For instance, the red colour shows poor-performing crops, yellow coloration shows an intermediate performance, and green colour shows healthy crops and better (expected) yields.

NDVI index map of the pineapple fields

The farmers understand that the red areas on the index map need more attention when applying fertilisers or pesticides. The use of agrochemicals in this way became demand-driven and characterized by location and specific application.

Farmers anticipate high yield from the demonstration field as the time sequence of index maps demonstrate a positive change in pineapple growth in response to geo-located crop husbandry practices applied by the farmers.

Precision farming advisory based on drone technology has brought about an improvement in land use and crop performance. More importantly, farmers have developed specific skills and acquired knowledge of innovative technologies for agriculture.

For them, it has not necessarily become easier to grow pineapples, but the field’s productivity has improved thanks to acting based on real-time drone-tech generated advice. This confirms that at least in some aspects, drone technology could improve the livelihoods of smallholder pineapple farmers.

“It is a great opportunity given to KEEA farmers to explore as far as modernization of agriculture is concerned. Times and trends are changing and the earlier you adapt to the change, the better for your development. Today, there are a lot of modern techniques …. You require up-to-date information …..

“I wouldn’t need to pick a vehicle to deliver information to you, today, mobile phones have come to save this great deal. We can now exchange information with ease,” says the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) Director for KEEA, Mrs. Victoria Dansoa Abankwa.

The project is led by the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension of the University of Cape Coast, with the support of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), the MasterCard Foundation, and the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM). The project started in 2018 and ends in 2021.

Find out what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had to say in the pre-Arsenal press conference

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

The manager of Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, faced a selection of questions from journalists on Friday morning, in his second pre-match press conference of the week.

Following their Wednesday’s 5-0 demolition of RB Leipzig in the Champions League, attention has switched to this weekend’s Premier League clash with Arsenal.

It’s a fixture the boss knows all too well from his playing days, and he was quizzed about his thoughts on the rivalry during Friday’s press conference.

Via video link, Ole also faced questions about playing a diamond formation again, the performances of Paul Pogba and Fred in midweek, the response since losing to Tottenham Hotspur, and much more …

Mikel Arteta has been at Arsenal for 10 months now. How impressed have you been with the job that he is doing, and do you think we’re starting to see how he wants his team to play?
“Well, I think any manager would need time to put his principles in place. Of course, he’s already won a trophy with them with what he is doing.

“You can see that he has his own ideas and that he’s also worked under a top manager before. At the start of your career as a manager, if you can start winning already, that’s a foundation to build from. I think they’ve found a manager who wants the best for the club.”

You’ve experienced that United v Arsenal rivalry over the years. How would you describe that and how it’s changed over the years?
“When I played it was between us and Arsenal to win the league. That was a very fierce rivalry. There were all sorts of stories about what has been happening and I don’t have to rip up any of them.

“The passion, the excitement, and the importance of those games … of course, we knew if we beat Arsenal and got six points from them that would be us winning the league more or less, and vice versa. So there have been some unbelievable games; some fond memories, some bad memories.

“Of course, now there is still the rivalry and still the history, but for now, we don’t think about them as our rivals, or as anyone as our rivals. We just need to put points on the board and it’s so early anyway.”

I’m guessing it’s correct saying that Alex Telles won’t be involved this weekend. Is there anybody else that won’t?
“Alex won’t be ready, no. Apart from that, I would think everyone else, at the moment, looks like they will be involved.”

How are you going to deal with Phil Jones and Sergio Romero? They’re not in the squad and there are two months before they can move anywhere. How’s that situation and how are you going to handle it?
“Sergio has just come back into training this week. He’s started his pre-season work and he’s working to get to his peak fitness with the goalkeepers.

“Phil has been injured and he had an operation and he’s been working really hard to get back. He’ll hopefully get fit during December. That was a natural thing when you’re injured, you can’t really be in the squad, can you? He’s working really diligently and he’ll be coming back soon.”

Is that the difference now from when you were a player? That then it was just one team you had to beat – whether it was Arsenal or Chelsea – but now there’s a whole lot more going for the title?
“I think football has developed and so many clubs have developed strength in depth and the ability to challenge for trophies. Even though the last two seasons you had two teams running away with it, I think this season a lot of us underneath them would hope to put up a challenge.

“But back then, we felt it was us or Arsenal, or then Chelsea came through as well. For me, it’s probably more interesting and exciting for the fans that’s it’s not going to be [just] one of these two. I think it’s showed this season that anything can happen, with what’s happening around the world. We’re just taking it one game at a time.”

Post-Sir Alex, United managers tend to be judged from game to game. Over the last 12 months, you must be happy to see how the trajectory is going in the right way?
“We keep on working; we want to develop, we want to improve. It’s not up to me to say how far we’ve come down that line, but I’ve been very pleased with the response after what we did early on in the season.

“We knew we had to hang in early on, try and get points on the board because we were far behind. But now we feel fit and strong and competitive in every game.”

You talked about the diamond after the game on Wednesday. If you are going to use that more going forward what do you need to see from Luke [Shaw] and Aaron [Wan-Bissaka] in that final third?
“It’s different demands in different systems. They’re still the same principles of a Man United full-back: you need to be good at defending and good going forward. It’s a position that we’ve always been very good at. We know that we need assists and even goals from them.

“Both of them have played and developed. I think they are improving. We don’t really have wide, wide wingers now like we used to do with [Ryan] Giggsy and David Beckham. We are more dependent on the full-backs to come forward and give us width.”

Paul Pogba played brilliantly the other night a bit further forward. Is that the way forward for him, playing a bit more advanced? Because I know under you he’s had more of a withheld role …
“Paul can do everything on the football pitch, more or less. He can play long passes, he can get into the box, he can make combinations outside the box. He played really well. He did impact the game. We love to see when he’s driving forward and affecting the game.

“What has been the case with Paul after being injured for so long and then ill, it’s about getting fitness. It’s about getting his fitness back and his sharpness back. The fitter he is, the more he can do.”

You can use five substitutes in Europe but that was voted against in the Premier League. Given the options in your squad, I’m sure you wanted to play more players. Looking at your rivals struggling with injuries, would you have liked to see five subs in the Premier League this season?
“One hundred per cent. And I don’t understand, and cannot believe, that the vote went against because we have to look after the players; we have to think about the players. This season is the most demanding season of all.

“I can see the point why clubs voted against, but if you take a step back and think about these professional footballers and their mental and physical health, I think the only sensible solution would have been to give us the opportunity to rest players more.

“We’ve already seen loads of injuries in the Premier League, I know Pep [Guardiola] has been talking about it, and other managers. We as managers, as clubs, as medical staff have to look after them. That is why we have to rest players at certain times. So, yeah, I would have liked to have five subs.”

You’ve been asked a lot about how you fit all your players into your team. I just wonder, given the options you’ve got, is that actually your biggest strength in the title race, the fact that you have this squad depth?
“At the moment, we are looking like a Man United squad because I’ve got opportunities, I’ve got options for places. Any successful team in the modern era of football has had that option to rest players and to rotate.

“That’s probably the only way you can last in this, the most intense league in the world for me, and also in the Champions League. You want to go for the trophies.”

Read also Ole Gunnar Solskjaer addresses current Donny van de Beek situation once again

It was another impressive performance by Fred on Wednesday night. Is he starting to show signs of why the club spent so much money on him two years ago?
“He’s got incredible attributes, Fred, and we are seeing the better side of Fred, definitely. We’ve waited for it. I thought he did a fantastic season last season and he did what we wanted from him. He’s a humble boy; he works really hard.

“He said after that game that he missed a couple of passes, but that’s in his genes as well, to always look to improve and to look at his own performance. I think his high energy … he’s little but his balance is fantastic. He is so sharp to win balls; he wins the ball and can also play a good pass. I’m delighted with his development.”

This is your 100th game since taking the wheel at Old Trafford, actually. How would you sum up your time as a United manager so far, and how is facing Arsenal in a game like this, knowing you haven’t beaten them yet in the Premier League?
“Arsenal is always going to be difficult because they are a very good team with a very good manager, who’s got some great ideas on how football should be played, and I’m looking forward to it.

“Of course, I’m surprised it’s 100 – it’s gone really quick, even though a lot has happened. Let’s hope I can celebrate no.100 with good performance and a win. I’ve enjoyed it so far.”

It’s been four games since the Spurs defeat – four quite tough games, but you’ve had three wins and one draw. Did that game change your thinking in any way? And what have you done since then to bring about these four fairly good games?
“I think any result as brutal as the 6-1 would have to get a response. It has been dealt with internally. We’ve tweaked a couple of things and got players fit. I think the manner of the defeat wasn’t anything that we should have to be confronted with again.

“Then again, things happen in football these days. The response has been fantastic and that’s what I’m concerned about because we wanted to finish that off as soon as we could and just move forward.”

Ethan Galbraith signs new Manchester United contract until June 2023

Manchester United midfielder Ethan Galbraith has signed a new long-term contract with the club.

Galbraith is another product of the club’s outstanding Academy system and was one of eight graduates to make their first-team debut last season. 

The deal will keep him at United until June 2023, with the option to extend for a further year. 

Galbraith scored a 97th-minute penalty as our Under-23s beat Everton last Friday night.

The midfielder, who joined the club at the age of 16, made his senior Northern Ireland international debut in September last year in a 1-0 win over Luxembourg at Windsor Park.

The 19-year-old recently scored a 97th-minute penalty against Everton to secure the victory for Neil Wood’s Under-23s side in Premier League 2. 

Galbraith will be looking to hone his talents behind the scenes and maintain his development at the club in the coming months and years.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer addresses current Donny van de Beek situation once again

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has addressed the current Donny van de Beek situation, claiming that we will ‘see a lot’ of him this season.

Many fans and pundits have been critical of the manager’s decision to not play the Dutchman more, with the midfielder showing glimpses of his quality during his selective showings.

Van de Beek was the first name through the doors of Old Trafford during the summer, with his arrival bringing plenty of excitement.

He is yet to start in the Premier League though, leading onto criticism of the signing itself – just eight games into the new season.

Jamie Carragher stated that he ‘doesn’t understand’ why Manchester United bought the player, with the squad already possessing Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes.

Patrice Evra made similar comments, claiming that Van de Beek was not an ‘urgent’ name needed.

Such cries have caused quite the stir online, but Solskjaer has addressed the situation, via the club’s official site.

During an interview, he was asked the following, ‘The media narrative at the moment seems to be about Donny van de Beek, even though he’s played in seven of our eight games we’ve played.

Do you have to speak to him about what’s said and written?’

The manager responded: “No I don’t have to speak to him about what’s said or written. I speak to every player quite regularly. It’s a good thing for us that people see the depth we have in the squad and, okay, if Donny doesn’t play one game then there’s a good player that doesn’t play, but there are also other players there that want to play. 

“Donny is adapting and is getting more and more used to us as a team and the way we want to play, and of course the Premier League is a different scenario to Eredivisie and we’ll see a lot of him, don’t worry about that.”

Solskjaer has been keen to bolster his squad options as part of his rebuild at the club, with there being a desire to compete on all fronts this season.

The quality of such has been elevated with Champions League qualification, alongside the three usual domestic tournaments.

Van de Beek will get his chances, and the manager is certainly not worried about any of the noises being made, outside the walls of the club’s complex.

‘Clearing honey’s name’: Here are Ten common myths about honey

It’s common knowledge that honey is one of the healthy and accessible substitutes for sugar, but along the way to prove that it’s better than refined sugar several myths passed as truths in many people’s minds.

Today, we are going to name all the myths regarding honey. In other words, we’ll be clearing honey’s name. Therefore, with no further ado, let’s go to the subject and break down all honey myths.

  1. All Bees Produce Honey
    Many people don’t know that there are many different species of bees. As well, they consider that all the bees can produce honey for consumption but they couldn’t be more wrong. While all bees are able to make honey, it’s the quality they are able to produce that matters.

Read also Beeswax: Its uses around our homes

  1. Bees Don’t Need Honey to Survive
    There’s this theory that says bees don’t need honey to survive but it couldn’t be more wrong. Bees depend on honey to survive, that’s why they produce it in the first place, not for our consumption.

Read also Ghana: Beekeepers call for support to boost business

  1. Honey Never Spoils
    This is the most common myth out of all I think – honey doesn’t spoil. While in some condition it is true, in others is very wrong because it has the capacity to be spoiled. If you preserve it well and you never let the jar open for extended periods of time it can last forever. On the other hand, if you do let it open for extended periods of time it will spoil because it sucks the moisture.

Read also Bees for development Ghana distributes beekeeping equipment to citrus farmers in A.A.K District

  1. Crystalized Honey is Spoiled Honey
    After a long while honey might change its texture, but its composition remains the same. In fact, it’s due to its composition the change of texture, but even after crystallization, honey remains the same – the same taste and nutrients.
Crystalized Honey

Read also Bees for Development Ghana Trains Unemployed Youth in Beekeeping

  1. Honey can not be heated, because when it is heated, it releases toxins and becomes toxic
    When heated, natural honey cannot emit poisons and toxins, because they are not initially present in it. If we are talking about honey with the addition of artificial fillers that turn the product into a fake, then anything can happen to such a product. It is important to separate the concepts of “nutritional value of honey” and “bactericidal properties of honey”. Natural honey during prolonged heating, for example, in the oven as part of baking, does not lose its nutritional value, but it says goodbye to bactericidal properties instantly. So you can safely add honey to porridge or hot tea if you want to add sweets.

Read also Promoting Sustainable Beekeeping to Alleviate Deprivation and Poverty

  1. It’s Suicide for a Bee to Sting
    This is probably the first myth I ever heard about bees, it is not particularly about honey, but it’s about the ones that produce it. This myth is a half-truth – not true and not wrong either. You see, the bee dies only if it can’t manage to get its stinger out of your skin so it breaks along with its abdomen, so it dies. But the bee can still sting you and manage to get its stinger out of your skin so nothing breaks and the bee survives. Therefore, the bee doesn’t die because it stings you but because your skin is too thick to get its stinger out of your skin.

Read also Accra City Bees Project: British High Commission and BfdG organise training workshop for its grounds workers

  1. Honey on Metal is Destructive to the Metal
    It is well known that honey is a bit acid, and the same as any acid edible, if it stays long enough on metal it can destroy it a bit. But it has to stay for quite a while to see some damage, so at the end of the day honey can be destructive to the metal is some circumstances, so it’s not a fact.

Read also Disappointed citrus farmers in A. A. K. district trained to produce honey from bees

  1. “Honeymoon”
    The term “Honeymoon” came to us from ancient rites, in which honey was also directly involved. Then it was decided that in the first month the newlyweds must have eaten honey and drink honey drinks. Now, unlike past centuries, the “honeymoon” is associated primarily with a trip, during which you can plunge into a romantic atmosphere, forgetting about workdays and small things.

Read also Unemployment, Increasing demand for honey; time to invest into beekeeping industry in Ghana?

  1. Foamy Honey and Has a Different Colour than Light Brown Has Gone Bad
    Honey comes in many shades of colours and even its texture may vary. But its color has nothing to do with it being spoiled or not. Honey comes in different colors because it comes from different flowers – the colour is dependent on the flower is coming from.

Read also Protection of farms using bees as fences: Lessons from India

  1. Sweeteners and Table Sugars are more Delicious than Honey
    Those who believe this: have you ever tasted honey? Honey, it’s not only healthier but also sweeter and has fewer calories than sugar, so with less honey, you’ll obtain the same sweetness as you used to with sugar. Honey is basically the same as sugar because is composed mostly of glucose and fructose, but it also has the nutrients and vitamins, which make it healthier. So whether is more delicious or not is just a matter of taste, it’s not a fact.

Read also Plan bee: Basic rules to become a beekeeper

Conclusion
Honey is so much better for your health than sugar is, and you can ask anyone about this. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can overuse it because it can still lead to obesity, which leads to a lot of health issues.

Anyway, it’s important to know the truth about anything, and breaking the myths is the first step. Now that you know the truth about honey you can feel free to use it but you should make sure is natural or as natural as possible.

Read also Harmony in the hive: What do bees need?

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