Fall Army Worm invasion: Crops Research decries lack of support

Director of CSIR-CRI. Dr. Stella A. EnninThe Crops Research Institute is decrying lack of government support in fighting the Fall Armyworm invasion.

Director of the Institute, Dr. Stella A. Ennin, says the support received by the Institute is channeled into the screening of insecticides developed in other countries. Speaking at the Africa Scientific Renaissance day in Kumasi, she said research into breeding maize plants which are resistant to the

pest will be a lasting solution.

 “Thank God we have some donors helping but they’re supporting aspects that are of interest to them. It’s good business for people along the chain but it’s good we develop technologies we can own and be able to commercialize,” she said.

“What we are doing is okay but we still need the breeding component. With the resistance, we’d need a minimum amount of chemical. So we’re still looking for financial support,” she added.
An entomologist at the Institute, Dr Kofi Frimpong-Anin, hinted at a model to predict the movement of the pest will be completed by 2019.

A similar system which has been developed for the African Armyworm is expected to bring down the pest population.

The Africa Scientific Renaissance Day is set aside by the AU to remind all African governments and people of the critical role that science and technology play in national development.
This year’s ceremony, held under the theme 'CSIR-60 years of Research with Impact for Sustainable Development' saw the exhibition of various products developed by the Institute and other stakeholders.

Senior lecturer at the Chemistry Department, KNUST, Dr Godfred Darko urged the government to beef up the country’s research capacity to accelerate development. He says collaboration between academia and industry has, therefore, become crucial.

“As for the hardcore science, we are way up there that’s why we go to Europe we beat them but when it comes to application, we’re not there yet,” he said.

“There should be synergy among the players,” he said. Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng observed the Institute has all it takes to help in the realization of government’s Ghana beyond Aid.