The United Nations Development Organization (UNIDO) in partnership with the High Commission of India in Accra and the involvement of UNIDO-South-South Industrial Cooperation (UCSSIC) Centres in India and China has held a regional workshop on the “promotion of neem derived bio-pesticides in West Africa”.
More than 30 participants from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, India, and Ghana including private sector representatives, experts on neem bio-pesticide processing, academia, and other neem project stakeholders attended the event at the University of Ghana, Legon.
Mr. Fakhruddin Azizi, UNIDO Country Representative, in an address highlighted the importance of developing production capacity and promotion of Neem derived bio-pesticides as a low cost and eco-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides in West Africa.
“We at UNIDO are strongly determined to spare no efforts to work with you to facilitate and support your agendas so that we ensure best possible outcome-for people, for our planet and for our common future,” he said.
Mr. Azizi expressed UNIDO’s appreciation to the Indian Government for supporting the neem derived bio-pesticide projects implemented in selected West African countries: Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Ghana aimed at enhancing regional cooperation on the harmonisation of approaches to the production and application of bio-pesticides.
“No progress on poverty eradication will be lasting if economic growth is not achieved within an environmentally – sustainable framework. It is a stark reality we cannot escape and therefore we widely recognize the vital role that South-South cooperation plays in this development process,” he added.
Mr. Birneder Singh, High Commissioner of India to Ghana and Mr. Fakhruddin Azizi also inaugurated a neem facility for processing neem pesticides at the Livestock and Poultry Research Centre (LIPREC), Legon.
The UNIDO Neem Bio-Pesticide programme is designed to promote the use of neem and development of production capacity of eco-friendly and cost-effective pesticide derived from neem kernels in West Africa.
In Ghana, the project is implemented by UNIDO, in collaboration with the University of Ghana and Tropical Agriculture Marketing & Consultancy Services targeted at establishing and managing a Neem Centre with a prototype/pilot machinery for the processing and production of neem based pesticide.
The project has therefore developed the capacity of the managers and staff of the Neem Centre in Accra to train trainers, seed collectors, farmers, village women, extension officers and workers for proper collection of neem kernels including depulping, drying and storage.
The centre also undertakes scientific field trials, studies, bio-efficacy data generation and technical guidance.