Scientists, researchers and farmers have marked this year’s Ghana March for Science event with a health walk in Tamale to draw attention to the need for government to invest in scientific research to address societal challenges.
The event dubbed: “Science: Our Past, Our Present, Our Future” drew attention to the important role of government to support research institutions to undertake critical research to end environmental degradation, reduce poverty as well as support farmers through technology to accelerate national development.
It formed part of a global exercise, which focused on the important role science played in helping countries to attain the Sustainable Development Goals especially in the areas of ending poverty, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture.
The health walk was organized by Alliance for Science (AFS), a network of farmers, scientists and researchers, in partnership with the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-SARI).
Research scientists from CSIR-SARI, farmers, students from the University for Development Studies, Tamale, and Tolon Senior High Schools took part in the event by walking through some principal streets in the Tamale Metropolis and finally converging at the Jubilee Park where they were addressed by their leaders.
Mr Reuben Quainoo, Executive Member of AFS, who addressed participants, underscored the need for government and policy makers to implement science-based evidence in policy formulation to increase the adoption of technologies in all aspects of human life to reduce poverty, increase food security and reduce the effect of climate change.
Mr Quainoo advised farmers to adopt improved agricultural practices to increase production.
Dr Roger Kanton, Chief Research Scientist at CSIR-SARI, said there was need for science and technology to be at the fore-front of the country’s development agenda, saying this would help realize the ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ agenda.
Dr Kanton called on government to adequately support science and research institutions to facilitate scientific research into emerging technologies and innovations to improve the quality of seeds and hybrids for farmers to support government’s flagship agricultural programmes.
Mr Mohammed Adam Nashiru, Chairman of Northern Regional Farmers Association, urged farmers to embrace agricultural scientific innovations and technologies, to increase food production, to ensure food security as well as increase rural incomes and livelihoods.