The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) has presented some high powered computers to the Plant Genetic Resources Research Institute (PGRRI) to enable it manage its huge data of plant genetics.
The PGRRI, an institute under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), situated at Bonsu in the Eastern Region, is a place where all plant sources including species are being conserved for future referencing.
Due to changes in the environment, many plants species are being lost but tissue culture facilities serve as places where miniature plants are conserved in test tubes and are multiplied into thousands of plants for the future.
Such plants are, therefore, being conserved at the facility to enable future generation to use them for further research.
Ms Patricia Appiagyei, Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, together with Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Sector Minister, presented the computers to Dr Lawrence Misa Aboagye, Director for Plants Genetic Resources Research Institute, in response to a request made by the Institute at a brief ceremony in Accra.
The computers were requested by the Centre some three weeks ago when Prof Frimpong-Boateng paid a working visit to the Centre and observed an obsolete computers being used to manage the tissue culture information.
“The Minister was so touched that he promised to give us some new powerful computers to be used to manage our data”, Dr Aboagye told the GNA in an interview in Accra after receiving the three computers.
He said the computers would help the Centre manage it data sustainably for both the present and future generations.
He said the facility which was provided under a project called the National Agriculture Science project and used for storing more of plant materials, also needed to be expanded and that the Minister has promised to assist the Institute to complete the expansion of the facility that is currently stalled.
Dr Aboagye said over time the country continues to lose more plants genetic sources due to weather changes, and so the mandate of the Institute which is to collect plants and keep them is very critical and needs to be supported.
He likened the PGRRI to a bank where monies are kept, saying the Institute has so far collected about 10,000 plants which are being kept in freezers, under cold storage, under tissue culture or in the field so that in the future, scientists and researchers may use the materials for the improvement of crops in the country.