General News of Thursday, 10 January 2019
The government says it will assist Apostle Kwadwo Safo, the Founder and Leader of the Christ Reformed Church (Kristo Asafo Mission), to complete the licensing, intellectual property, trade secrecy and patenting registration of three of his agro-input inventions.
The inventions are organic fertilizer, a pesticide and a weedicide which are not harmful to both humans and animals.
Apostle Safo plans to build a production facility in Agogo in the Ashanti Region to produce the products in commercial quantities which will be cheaper for uptake.
The support forms part of a partnership the government is offering to Apostle Safo to make his innovations a win-win for him and the state.
To firm up the partnership, a two-member government delegation, made up of the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, and a Special Advisor at the ministry, Mr Oliver Boakye, paid a familiarisation visit to Kristo Asafo’s innovation hubs at Gomoa Odambo and Mpota in the Central Region.
The minister explained that it was a top priority of the government to support and commercialize the inventions, especially the agro-inputs, to enable the country to address pest and disease challenges in the agricultural sector.
He said the commercial production of Apostle Safo’s agro-product inventions would help reduce the importation of agrochemicals and relieve the stress on the nation’s foreign exchange.
The team found out that the biodiversity-friendly fertilizer had a fertility lifespan of six years, while the pesticide aided pollination, apart from ridding livestock and plants of pests.
The weedicide also kills unwanted plants by halting photosynthesis within 11 hours of its application.
“If we want to live fruitful lives, we need to urgently develop our local capacity and expand the agricultural sector to meet the basic necessity of life — cheaply feeding ourselves.
“I have never seen any country that has survived and developed without the ability of its people using local means to ensure food security and defending themselves. Overall, we need to appreciate and eat what we grow,” Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said.
He praised Apostle Safo for showing the way by turning virtual grasslands in parts of the Gomoa area into a tropical forest, with tree species that were both medicinal and could be used as timber.
The forest, the minister said, was home to all manner of animal and tree species which were facing extinction in “our part of the world”.
Apostle Safo, for his part, welcomed the government’s support and said he was ready for the partnership to contribute to the country’s development, especially to actualize the Ghana Beyond Aid policy.
He said there were many innovations in the offing to address some social challenges, including poor sanitation and waste disposal.
“I have the knowledge and expertise to address and develop technologies you can think of,” he stated.
“I have done many, such as weeding and sweeping implements, but they were not taken seriously.”
“I am willing to even enhance those technologies if only the government will support their uptake,” Apostle Safo said.