IRAD 2024 International Conference opens at Nyankpala

By Albert Futukpor

Nyankpala (N/R), Feb. 23, GNA – The fourth Irrigation and Agricultural Development (IRAD) International Conference has opened in Nyankpala near Tamale to provide a scientific platform for deepening relationships and sharing ideas from research works in Africa and the global scene geared towards combating climate change.

The two-day IRAD conference, organised by the West African Centre for Water, Irrigation and Sustainable Agriculture (WACWISA), University for Development Studies, is on the theme: “Climate Change, Water, Food Systems and One Health: A Need for Sustainable Solutions”.

Professor Felix Kofi Abagale, the Director, WACWISA, said the 2024 conference attracted more than 100 scientific abstracts from authors from 14 affiliated countries: Ghana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, La Cote d’Ivoire, Denmark, Ethiopia, Japan, Malawi, Netherlands, Nigeria, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and the United Kingdom.

After stringent review of those scientific abstracts, 73 of them were accepted.

“It is expected that at the end of the conference, a high-level scientific discourse and cross-fertilisation of ideas geared towards combating climate change will be advanced,” he said.

Prof. Abagale called on funding organisations to contribute to research and development of new knowledge and technologies for the country and the Africa region, by investing in innovative research, particularly around water resource development.

Professor Seidu Al-hassan, Vice-Chancellor, UDS, said the need for sustainable solutions to climate change was non-negotiable, especially in view of its devastating effects on livelihoods and communities.

There was the need to collectively tackle the issue, he said, and commended the Government and other stakeholders for their efforts in addressing climate change and related issues.

He said UDS had taken the lead to establish various departments and centres to contribute meaningfully to solving many of the country’s challenges.

Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, the Northern Regional Minister, whose speech was read on his behalf, called for prioritising the conservation and sustainable management of water resources and recognising that access to clean water was a fundamental human right.

“We must promote sustainable agricultural practices that minimise environmental impact, conserve natural resources and ensure food security for all,” Alhaji Saibu said.

Dr Issah Sugri, the Deputy Director, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Savanna Agricultural Research Institute, said the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation remained steadfast in its commitment towards innovation, collaboration and action.

That, he said, would ensure sustainable solutions to the challenges of climate change, water resources, food systems and One Health.

Meanwhile, as part of the conference, the presentation of graduate students’ thesis competition in three minutes dubbed: “My Thesis in 180 Seconds,” was held.

Mr Hassan Kotey emerged the winner and received a plaque, Ghc2000.00, and a router with no expiry data package.

Mrs Jenita Benicio Cargola, the first runner up, received a plaque and GHc1000.00 and Mr Emmanuel Byiringiro, the second runner –up, had GHc500.00 and a plaque.