The Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE) is calling on the government and stakeholders to assist the agricultural engineering industry.
The president, Prof. Charles Anum Adams believes investment in the sector will create avenues for youth employment.
“We need support. We need our government to believe in indigenous technology, and indigenous engineering and support it. Engineering is expensive. If we want to add value and create businesses that would employ people, we need to invest. Countries that invest in engineering get richer. No country will develop without sound engineering.”
“If we don’t see engineering Africa’s agriculture as a business, then we cannot create jobs. We have to use our knowledge to create products and move away from being a producer of raw materials and create a value chain,” he said.
He was speaking at the 4th PAN African Society for Agricultural Engineering (PASAE) AfroAgEng international conference in Kumasi. The 4-day event was themed: “Engineering Africa’s Agriculture as Business for sustainable development with a focus on Agenda 2063”.
The conference aims to collate innovations and expertise on issues that span sustainable food production and supply chain management. The conference assembled engineering, technology and science professionals across the African continent.
The conference will address overarching challenges and create opportunities for agricultural and rural transformation in Africa by 2063.
The Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture, Yaw Frimpong Addo, reiterated the government’s commitment to improving agriculture.
He explained that government policies like the National Centre of agriculture mechanisation and management at KNUST will: “train profile of engineers, technicians, farmers, students and other stakeholders in appropriate mechanisation technologies and methodologies”.
“The centre will serve as a useful laboratory for research and training of students on all theoretical and practical experts of agriculture machinery and engineering, farm mechanisation and related disciplines in the University in the country,” he added.
Pro-vice chancellor of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Prof. Ellis Owusu-Dabo encouraged African agriculture engineers to pay attention to the model they seek to adopt in their practices.
“We think the quickest way to do it is to copy-paste, the USA, Japan, and China. So you will end up being confused as to which model of agricultural practice to follow.”
“Africans must come up with their fine judgment and blueprint of what we want. My challenge to us Agriculture Engineers is that the land is available,” he said.