The West Africa Centre for crop improvement will on Wednesday, June 24 host the United Nations Global Food Systems Summit 2021. the webinar will highlight Innovations, Interventions and policies for Food Systems Transformation
This webinar will span a 3-hour session divided into 3 main sessions. There will be 15 minutes speech by the Convenor and Chairman for the dialogue as a prelude to the discussions.
A Discussant (Prof. Marian Quain, CSIR-CRI) will deliver a presentation for 10 minutes covering the key issues and then it will be followed by about 75 minutes of panel discussion. Each panelist will have 5 minutes maximum for their presentations or contributions and then participants will be given 60 minutes for questions, answers (from panelists), commentary or suggestions or contributions to the topical issues. This presentation by panelist is meant to open up the platforms for open discussions from panelists and the audience in a well-coordinated manner. Rapporteurs will synthesize and present issues at the end of each session.
Dr. Maxwell Asante, Principal Research Scientist CSIR-CRI, Kumasi
Dr. Beatrice Ifie, Lecturer, Maize Breeder, WACCI, University of Ghana
Dr. Naalamle Amissah, Head of Department, Department of Crop Science, University of Ghana
Mr. Thomas Gambrah, Managing Director, Premium Foods Ltd., Ghana
Dr. Solomon Gyan Ansah, Director MoFA, Ghana
The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) was established at the University of Ghana in 2007 to train plant breeders for the West and Central African subregion. Due to the brain drain and decline in number of scientists involved in plant breeding over the years prior to WACCI’s inception, capacity for developing varieties and training was very low, hence the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) commissioned a scoping study that led to the establishment of the Centre with initial funding of USD 5.5 million.
In 14 years WACCI has delivered excellence in plant breeding education training 95 PhD Plant Breeders and 30 Seed Scientists and Technologists at the MPhil level. Aside its core mandate, WACCI has also spearheaded research programmes in crop improvement with impactful research outputs including the release of 3 super high yielding maize varieties in Ghana and indirectly supporting the development and adoption of many varieties across the continent. Notable among these are the 95 new varieties released by the WACCI PhD plant breeding graduates since its inception. WACCI’s drive to contribute to food and nutrition security on the continent, along with its desire to introduce the youth into conversations on agri-entrepreneurship led to the birth of the Kofi Annan Enterprise Hub for Agricultural Innovation (KAEHAI).
The innovation drive at the hub will be run in partnership with local and international strategic organizations and institutions that will yield the innovative solutions for agricultural transformation in SSA through entrepreneurship. This initiative is in line with the urgent need for Food Systems dialogues commissioned by the United Nations (UN) to identify key interventions, solutions, projects and policies for transformations to quicken the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Today, more than 852 million people are undernourished (https://www.worldometers.info/) and the need to take urgent actions to transform the food systems in order to eradicate hunger and malnutrition remains pressing and a huge load on the conscience of humanity. In light of these issues, WACCI will host the UN dialogues prior to the Pre-Summit event of the UN on the Food Systems which is scheduled to be held in July 2021. At least one dialogue is scheduled to be held on June 24, 2021 and the synthesis of these dialogues will be published and submitted to the UN. The main topics to be discussed include Innovations for the Food Systems Transformation, Interventions for Food Systems Transformation and Policies for Food Systems Transformation.