Using Open Science tools to solve agriculture issues

From April 13 to 15, 2018, the city of Kumasi in Ghana hosted Africa Open Science & Hardware, a science and open hardware summit. The Open Science Blog was represented at this summit. It was on this occasion that we met Freda Yamorti Gbande, a young Ghanaian activist actively using the tools and principles of open science in agriculture in her country.

Open Science Blog: Hi, Freda. Can you tell us about yourself, about your school carrer ?

My name is Freda Yamorti Gbande. I had my senior high school education at St. Mary Senior High School in Accra. I studied General Science and went on to the University of Ghana where I read biochemistry, cell and molecular biology. I’m currently working with a dairy farm, located along the Adenta – Dodowa stretch also in Accra.

Open Science Blog: Good. Now, can you please tell us how you discover the Africa Open Science & Hardware Summit, and why you decided to attent this event ?

I found out about the Open Science and Hardware Summit through the internet. I was Googling opportunities that would help me in my career; and then I saw this and decided to apply. I thought it was a great opportunity for my career advancement as a recent graduate. I felt that being amidst individuals of different levels of expertise from diverse cultures was a good way to learn as well. So I felt that coming into a gathering where people from across the globe, people who are aware in these areas of science I’m working in, people who have started their own project, people who are helping mentor people, will be benefit for me. It will be a great opportunity to come here and learn and also to share what’s my ideas were.

Open Science Blog: During the AfricaOSH summit, you presented a project you’re working on in the agricultural field in Accra. What is this project, and how is it going on ?

So at the moment I’m kindly working with a dairy farm, located on Dodowa stretch and some of the challenges that we face are due to lack of funding and then lack of modern technologies. Challenges in the field of agriculture can be reduced if conventional methods would be improved. Modern technologies can be replicated and tailored to solve our problems; research conducted and documented can be use to improve processes that are employed. I believe the challenges confronting the agriculture sector, industries and the environment in our parts of the world can be managed through collaborations and bold thinking.

Open Science Blog: What are your words for young Ghanaian and African youth in general; about the challenges they should meet for the development of your country and of the continent ?

I encourage young Africans, I encourage young Ghanaians to look into agriculture. The kind of effort, the kind of time and resources that we put into drug discovery, we can also put them into other aspects of research in agricultural field. So that, we won’t waste the food products we get for our farm. Finally all this will come together to make agriculture a better one and also to give employment local farmers, give employment to other people. And also to develop the country, develop the economy; so that we can also be powerful as other continents across the globe.

Open Science Blog: Thanks very much Freda.