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Gov’t moves to address research shortfalls with new fund

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation has revealed plans to set up a fund to address financing challenges of researchers in universities and other institutions.

Sector Minister, Professor Kwabena Frimpong- Boateng, says a bill to that effect is currently being drafted for subsequent passage into law.

“We have to create a vehicle that will allow this fund to be disbursed. There’s a group working on the STI [Science, Technology and Innovation] bill. With this fund, 1% of the GDP will be part of it,” he hinted.

“I’ve always said that the poverty gap is a technology gap, ” the Minister added.

Professor Frimpong- Boateng made the revelation during a visit to the Crops Research Institute (CRI) in Kumasi.

His revelations about the STI bill was in response to an appeal by the Director of CRI, Dr. Stella Ama Ennin for the government to increase funding for research.

Government’s 2017 budget allocated 1 percent of the country’s GDP to science research in a bid to encourage more research and innovation.

Dr. Ama Ennin also wants government to consider the CRI as an integral player in its Planting for Food and Jobs programme.

She says years of developing improved and good quality seeds adopted in 15 African countries makes the institute placed to make a contribution to government’s flagship agric initiative.

Dr. Ama Ennin also urged the Minister to push for a swift passage of the Plant Breeders Bill into law as it can earn the country foreign exchange.

“Our improved crop seeds are being used for free elsewhere,” she bemoaned.

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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