Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana
Title: Scientific insight into agricultural and horticultural research: The driving force to sustaining man through quality food and environment
Francis Appiah teaches at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana. He holds a PhD degree from KNUST. He is a professional in Agriculture, Food Science, Postharvest Technology and Systems, Nutrition and Community Education. He is the Honourary Secretary of the Ghana Institute of Horticulturists and a member of the Quality and Postharvest Horticulture Commission of the International Society of Horticultural Science (ISHS). Francis has 18 scientific publications in reputable international journals. He has done work for institutions including The World Vegetable Center (AVRDC). He has convened several Scientific conferences in horticulture with the latest being the 13th Scientific Conference of the Ghana institute of Horticulturists (PROVAF 2012) in collaboration with The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Global Horticulture Initiative (GLOBALHORT) in Accra, Ghana. He has special interest in promoting scientific research and dissemination.
In 2013 the world’s 7 billionth person will be born. Unfortunately, 1 in every 7 persons will be born hungry and nearly 1 billion will go to bed hungry each night. Although the world has grown more sophisticated in technology making it increasingly smaller in terms of reach and access, agricultural and horticultural production has not kept pace with the rising population, creating huge and unbalanced food deficits. This calls for new insight and approaches into agricultural research, policy, environmental management, dissemination of research findings in easy to understand and adopt modules. Interdisciplinary research approaches that pulls expertise from among fields including genomics, molecular biology, physiology, ecology, soil nutrient management and environmental remediation, nutrition, health sciences, water quality and conservation, sustainable and organic systems, landscape design, construction and management, urban horticulture, functional foods, food safety and quality and sociology are indispensable. Quality research driving on multi-stakeholder involvement in funding and setting research agenda, and instrumentation require serious attention and need to be promoted. Quality agricultural and horticultural research which translates into quality teaching and human resource development, improved extension service delivery, and ultimately improved quality of life should be based on scientific insight. The livelihood, nutrition and survival of the next generation can only be achieved based on knowledge. The world is waiting and looking up to the torchbearers and its leaders including scientists to put safe and nutritious food produced with environmentally-friendly technologies on their tables. The world can’t wait. It should not wait. We should not make it wait. The challenge is ours. We should neither deny nor disappoint humanity. This conference should ask all the questions, find all the answers and provide leadership for or hungry world.