Press release, 3 July 2012
Help for farmers top of the agenda as CABI establishes new office in Ghana
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Alhaji Muhammed Mumuni, will lead the inauguration of a new office in Accra, Ghana for international science and agriculture organization CABI in a formal ceremony on 4 July 2012. This will bring the number of CABI’s international centres to 12 and give it for the first time a base in West Africa.
Situated on the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) campus, CABI will join an important group of research and development organizations in what is rapidly becoming a West African hub of scientific and agricultural knowledge. It will be well positioned to support smallholder commodity producers in Ghana and will aim to work closely with national and international organizations to respond quickly to local needs. CABI also plans to extend its activities throughout the region, particularly in its current member countries, Cote d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.
“Ghana has a large agricultural sector, making up nearly half of its annual GDP,” said Morris Akiri, CABI’s Regional Director for Africa. “We hope that we’ll be able to contribute to helping Ghana’s farmers grow more and better crops, and lose less to pests and diseases. Our know-how is especially strong in core commodity crops such as cocoa, coffee and oil palm, and in the important areas of plant health and knowledge management. We are very excited to have a base in the country at last, and we are looking forward to sharing knowledge and experience with new colleagues and partners.”
CABI has been well known in Ghana, which was one of its founding member countries, since the 1970s. Recent projects in the country include a collaboration with CSIR in a UNEP/GEF-funded programme on “Removing Barriers to Invasive Plant Management in Africa”, and work to improve understanding of Integrated Soil Fertility Management through the Africa Soil Health Consortium (ASHC). CABI has also collaborated with the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) on a project on Cocoa Mirids.