GAEC Makes Strides in Fall Armyworm Control

The Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has advanced in its research to help bring under control the invasion of farms by Fall Armyworms across the country.

The manager at the Radiation Entomology and Pest Management Centre (REPMC) of the Biotechnology and Nuclear Agricultural Research Institute (BNARI) of GAEC, Dr. Michael Osae said, GEAC with its expertise in research would not remain silent on the fall armyworm menace. He said his outfit has established a fall armyworm colony in one of their insectaries to help carryout research on their basic biology and ecology as well as evaluating several management options.

According to him, the existing fall armyworm management tools being used in other parts of the world may not be effective in Ghana and other West African countries due to their different ecological conditions and weather patterns. This he said, warrants the need to evaluate all such existing management tools and other indigenous tools available to us.

‘Recently GAEC was contracted by a company (name withheld) to conduct bio-efficacy trials on a new product meant to control Fall Armyworms and the outcome was very successful’, he said. He added that the product would be registered and will soon hit the markets.

The Fall Armyworm is an insect commonly known to feed on maize and over 80 other crop species including rice, sorghum, millet, sugarcane, vegetable crops and cotton.

The insect was first detected in Ghana in 2016 and has wreaked havoc on several farms and posed a major challenge to farmers across the regions.

Mrs. Diana Marri a research scientist responsible for the fall armyworm colony at REPMC, GAEC, said studies have shown that the insect could survive all the Ghanaian whether conditions.

She disclosed that unlike other species, the Fall Armyworms have no special periods to lay eggs. ‘They mate and start laying eggs immediately after they become adults’, she added.

She called on farmers to do well to provide information on the characteristics of the pest on their farms in order to help researchers (in GAEC and other organizations) develop workable solutions under our peculiar conditions.

By: Thykingdom Kudesey / Office of Corporate and Public Affairs (OCPA) – GAEC

Experts in nuclear science meet to review work

Prof. Shaukat Abdulrazak (4th left), in an interaction with Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng (3rd left), Dr Kweku Anning (left), the Board Chair of Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) and Dr Dazhu Yang (2nd left). Picture: Maxwell Ocloo

Nuclear scientists and experts are meeting in Accra to review the efforts of member states of the African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research and Development and Training (AFRA) related to nuclear science and technology for the peaceful promotion of nuclear technology in development.

The participants will also review the AFRA agreement and deepen collaboration for the full benefit of nuclear science in development.

The five-day meeting, which is the 29th Technical Working Group of AFRA, is being organised by AFRA, in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and hosted by Ghana.

Research funding

Addressing the opening session yesterday, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, announced that the government was looking for an appropriate piece of land for a nuclear power plant that would add about 4,500 megawatts (MW) to the country’s power generation capacity.

He said the land for the nuclear power plant must, among several other considerations, be resilient to earthquakes and flooding.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said the government would sustainably increase funding for research and development until funding for the sector reached appreciable levels of 2.5 per cent of the budget.

He said innovations in science and technology were the basis of most developed countries, hence the commitment of the government to support science and research through increased funding.

He noted that the focus of AFRA, which is to build capacity in nuclear science across member states, was in “sync with Ghana’s current development agenda which puts human development at the centre”.


The Deputy Director General of the IAEA, Dr Dazhu Yang, who also addressed the meeting, expressed happiness that the meeting would discuss radiation safety and the deployment of nuclear innovation in health and agriculture.

For him, the inability of some member states to conform to safety requirements limited their ability to fully enjoy the full potential of nuclear science in their strides to develop.

He was also happy that the group would discuss the AFRA agreement and pledged the continued support of the IAEA through collaboration with Africa through the group.

Dr Yang reminded the group of current dynamics, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s (AU’s) Vision 2030 and urged the participants to take all of them into consideration in any review they did.

The IAEA Technical Cooperation Africa Director, Mr Shaukat Abdulrazak, in his remarks, encouraged member states to collaborate more and demystify nuclear science for the benefit and awareness of their citizens.

He said there were various opportunities open in the sector and urged member states to improve upon their modes and quality of reporting for the telling of better nuclear science in development stories.


The Chairperson of AFRA, Mr Sabbiti Baguma, in his statement, said the meeting would provide the participants with a platform for them to reflect on the AFRA agreement and the way forward.

He reminded the group of previous decisions and expressed the hope that conclusions would be reached for the next major meeting of the IAEA in the course of the year.

The Chairperson for the opening ceremony, Dr Kweku Aning, noted that Ghana had lagged behind in the deployment of nuclear technology for development and expressed the hope that the situation would change, given the cooperation among members.


AFRA came into being on April 4, 1990 to provide a framework for African member states of the IAEA to intensify their collaboration through programmes and projects on nuclear science and technology.

Source: Graphic Online

Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory to Create Jobs for the next 50 years

The Director of the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI) of GAEC, Professor Dickson Adomako, has disclosed that the Radio Astronomy Observatory at Kuntunse, a suburb of Accra is set to provide jobs for graduates in the areas of Space Science and Technology for the next 50 years.

The Radio Astronomy Observatory was inaugurated in August 2017. It is mainly for research into Earth’s solar system and space in general

Speaking on the importance of the radio telescope to Ghana, he indicated that the facility will help boost activities in the areas of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Engineering, Scientific tourism and Astronomy.

He added that the facility would also help students to effectively participate in Global research.

Prof. Adomako disclosed that, Ghana would soon embark on a mega space science project that will create employment for thousands of Ghanaians in the areas of Space Science and Technology. The project according to him is to be started in the year 2022 and expected to last for a period of 50 years.

“The project is to build three thousand (3000) smaller telescopes at 50 newly created base stations where it will be operated”, he added.

Responding to issues of safety, the GSSTI boss said that there is no cause for alarm since the facility receives signals that are not harmful to the public.

He advised students to take up Courses in Space Science and Technology at pure science-based universities such as the graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences (SNAS), in order to tap into the employment opportunities to be created.

He stressed that the project will provide employment opportunities in the areas of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Mechanical Engineering as well as Software Chain Engineering which students must consider pursuing.

By: Thykingdom Kudesey / Office of Corporate and Public Affairs (OCPA) – GAEC