By Kodjo Adams, GNA
Accra, Aug. 9, GNA – Ghana and South Korea on Tuesday opened a Korea Programme on International Agriculture (KOPIA) Centre in Accra to improve rice and tomato production in the country.
KOPIA, an agriculture technology support Centre, would transfer advanced farming know-how to the country.
The Centre is spearheaded by the Rural Development Agency (RDA) in collaboration with the Centre for Scientific Research and Industrial Research.
Its aimed is to develop technologies for improving rice productivity, cultivating tomatoes and feeding poultry and as well assist small-scale farmers to improve agricultural productivity and their outcomes.
Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, speaking at the commissioning of the office, said the two countries signed a Memoranda of Understanding in March for the Centre.
Prof Frimpong Boateng stated that Centre would facilitate close collaboration between Ghana and South Korea in a mutually beneficial manner.
He said Korea was able to feed their population and export its agriculture products, because of effective utilisation of technology, adding that it was necessary for the country to learn from them and maximise the use of technology.
Prof Frimpong Boateng said government would institute an index to monitor the progress of the cooperation annually for transparency and accountability and positive outcomes.
Dr Ra Seungyong, the Administrator of RDA, said during the project implementation, RDA would dispatch Korean Resource Persons in the respective areas for active exchange of knowledge and skills and as well develop and disseminate technologies adaptable to the country’s agricultural contexts.
He stated that the Centre would serve as the starting point for Korea-Ghana agricultural cooperation, adding that through a range of agricultural collaborations and development of customised technologies, farm incomes would be increased to the country’s agriculture vibrant.
“The RDA has developed and shared agricultural technologies customized to developing nations through partnerships with local research institutes, having opened KOPIA centres in 21 nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America since 2009,” he added.
Madam Han Lisa, the Deputy Head of Korean Embassy to Ghana, commended Ghana for its policy on ‘Planting for Food’ to increase food production, ensure food security, create job opportunities and export as well.
He charged government to make good use of technology in the agricultural sector to transform the country.