Short Course on Post-Harvest Management
The University of Sydney, Australia in partnership with the Department of Agricultural Engineering of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology has organised a short course titled “Australia Award – Africa Fellowship: Post-harvest Management of Maize, Rice and Legumes”. The Australia Award is an initiative funded by the Australian government’s Agency for International Development (AusAID) designed to address the problem of post-harvest management of maize, rice and legumes.
The Chairman for the programme, Professor Ebenezer Mensah, thanked the organizers and outlined the many projects of the Agricultural Engineering Department. He said the Australian government’s support for the short course formed part of Australia’s broadening engagement with Africa to help advance development outcomes in agriculture and food security. Participants were from Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
In his welcome address, the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Samuel Nii Odai, said post-harvest losses was one of the major problems facing the agricultural sector in Africa with post-harvest grain losses estimated at around US$4 billion a year (World Bank and Food and Agricultural Organization report). He therefore underlined the importance of training programmes that sought to address such problems. He acknowledged the two resource persons from the University of Sydney, Australia, Emma Walters and Peter Ampt, who would take the fourteen (14) participants from the ten African countries through the training. He hoped the knowledge gained after the training would be used significantly to better the lives of people through improved food security.
The head ofthe Australian Agency for International Development, West Africa, Zabeta Moutafis said that Australia’s support to the development of agriculture and food security in Africa came through programmes focused on providing humanitarian assistance in response to food crises across the Sahel countries, in improving development outcomes from mining efforts and in increasing capacity in public policy. She congratulated the team for the Australia Award which was a significant achievement and an important opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge to benefit the countries represented at the programme..
The programme coordinator is Dr. Wilson Agyei Agyare, Senior Lecturer, Soil and Water Engineering, of the Department of Agricultural Engineering.