Ghana will host the very first conference of the African Plant Breeders Association (APBA) from October 23-25, 2019 at the University of Ghana, Legon. The broad objective of the conference is to share knowledge, build partnerships, generate and publicize solutions to modernize breeding programmes for the transformation of agriculture in Africa. The conference will also be used to officially launch the Association with the objective of driving the food and nutrition security agenda on the continent. The Minister of State at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Nurah Gyiele, will launch the association at the opening ceremony.
The conference will bring together over 300 scientists, researchers, national agriculture policy makers, students and professionals from both public and private sectors in the fields of plant breeding and seed science. It will discuss current research outputs and outcomes in plant breeding and seed systems. It will also provide opportunities for extensive collaborations targeted at achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 – end hunger, achieve food security, improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030.
The Conference which is being hosted by the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) will take place at the Auditorium of the Department of Economics, University of Ghana, and will discuss a wide variety of issues impeding food security in Africa. These include accelerating genetic gain in crops, variety development and deployment, gender responsive breeding, breeding to help fight post-harvest pests and diseases, tree crop improvement, among many others.
A statement from the Organizing Committee of the conference led by Director of WACCI, Prof. Eric Y. Danquah, who is also the Interim President of the APBA noted that plant breeding offers a huge opportunity to providing sustainable paths to increasing domestic supply of food and dietary diversity in Africa. The statement bemoaned the fact that Africa still lags behind other continents as regards knowledge and access to modern approaches and techniques in breeding.