A team from National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), New Delhi and Ministry of External Affairs (DPA Division) visited Ghana from 18 – 22 July 2016 to review the progress on the implementation of the Tomato Pilot Research Project. NRDC is the implementing agency from the Indian side and Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) the implementing agency on the Ghanaian side for the project. The team visited the three project sites at Kumasi (Crop Research Institute), Navarango and Ada. At Kumasi, the team had a constructive engagement with the CSIR team and inspected the greenhouses, fields and facilities. During the visit to Navarango on 19 July, the team also interacted with a group of farmers and the representatives of ICOUR which is actively engaged in driving the research at Navarango. At Ada on 20 July, the team was able to interact with the sitting Member of Parliament for the Ada region and the District Assembly apart from officials from the Ministry of Agriculture & Food. The Tomato Pilot Research Project, under a US $ 2.088 million assistance from the Government of India (through the Ministry of External Affairs) is the first greenhouse research experiment for tomato production in Ghana. The project concept was developed keeping the enormous dependence on tomato and tomato derivatives in Ghana in view and with the objective of increasing local production of tomato to boost the agricultural sector. Once the research establishes the high yield varieties suitable according to the agronomy of the region, farmers in Ghana would once again be able to espouse tomato cultivation on a large scale to make it commercially viable and remove the dependence on imported tomatoes for processing and consumption. Through developing linkages, tomato production and processing could see a transformation in the agro-processing sector in Ghana.
The visit also witnessed the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding between the NRDC, India and CSIR, Ghana to set up an incubation center for start-ups at CSIR, Ghana for successful commercialization of IP and technology from its research institutions and creation of start-ups and facilitate transfer of technology to such companies. The MoU would also support potential entrepreneurs in developing business ideas, business plans and models to boost innovation and productivity in various sectors. CSIR Ghana will make necessary arrangements to operate and run the Incubation Centre with technical assistance from NRDC. The MoU was signed by Dr. H. Purushotham, Chairman & Managing Director of NRDC-India and Dr. Victor Agyeman, Diretor General of CSIR-Ghana on 21 July 2016 at CSIR Headquarters, Accra.
India is the third largest start-up market in the world and through special initiatives like Startup India and Standup India, the Government of India has developed policy and programmes to accelerate this process. Startups, as has been increasingly realized, would provide the necessary impetus for broad based economic progress and wealth creation through innovation and entrepreneurship. Ghana is at a critical stage in its economic development and needs such innovation and skill development for sustainable growth. Through this MoU, NRDC and CSIR would be able to develop suitable business innovation platform for promotion of entrepreneurship and startups to fill this vital gap leading to skill development, youth employment; development of efficient and sustainable business models, transfer of technology and know-how and promotion of the adoption of best practices in industry and commerce, leading to creation of wealth for the common Ghanaians and prosperity of the country.
Press Release on NRDC Visit