The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has reiterated its resolve to advancing agricultural productivity, rural development and sustainable management of natural resources through teaching, training research and extension of knowledge.
Professor Ben Branoh Banful, Provost of the College, said the College had focused on enhancing entrepreneurial schemes, knowledge and promotion of good attitudes of students through periodic review of curricula to make them more entrepreneurship oriented and responsive to industry needs.
He was speaking at the first session of the 57th KNUST congregation ceremony for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Kumasi.
The college presented 1,104 graduates, and of this number 111 graduated with first-class honours, 609 had second-class upper division, 370 with second-class lower division and 14 passed.
Prof. Banful said the area of research had made significant strides including some faculty members winning €2.1 million from the European Union for a project on research for development and innovation in agriculture and learning.
The College also won a grant from DANIDA for a project on climate-smart cocoa agroforestry in Ghana, and another grant for a project on soil conservation and regenerative practices to enhance carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Again, the research team of the Bureau of Integrated Rural Development (BIRD) also received over $2.1 million from various donors for contract research in the mandated areas of the centre.
The Provost said the College continued to foster new partnerships and collaborations with industry, citing the collaboration between Kumasi Recycling Plant as one which had yielded development of a proposal for effective waste management compost improvement, quality assurance and segregation for the agricultural industry.
According to Prof. Branful, the proposal would soon be submitted to the Jospong Group of companies for funding and implementation.
Mr. Abbraham Sarfo, an Agribusiness Analyst, advised the graduates to see agricultural studies as lucrative and embrace it for national development.
He said there were many areas in the field of agriculture, including climate change adaptation opportunities, precision agriculture, smart agri-production and processing, among others which were uncharted.