Insects Dictating The Pace Of World Food Insecurity- Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu

An Entomologist and Provost of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences at the University of Ghana, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu has stated that activities of insects pose serious threats to world food security.

He said several species of insects attack various crops of economic importance; causing severe harm and reducing economic as well as nutrient values of these crops hence posing a major threat to humans as food security is concerned.

With about one million species rightly identified, these "insects remain threat to humans as food security is concerned," Prof. Owusu said in his inaugural lecture held on Thursday, 14th July, 2016 at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana. His inaugural lecture was on the theme: "Entomophobia: Are Insects Dictating the Pace of World Food Insecurity?"

He noted that insects do not cause harm to only the crops and animals that humans feed on as food, but unfortunately, humans also have to contend with the nocturnal ones that transmit diseases. As a result, humans have resorted to the use of insecticides and pesticides to prevent and control the activities of these insects.

Prof. Owusu who has worked extensively on Millet, vegetables and urban insect pest, especially in the areas of insecticide resistance and use of indigenous plant materials for management of major insect pests asserted that humans have badly hurt themselves and the environment in their quest to counteract the damaging effects of insects. A classic example he mentioned is the use of pesticides by Palm wine tapers to displace insects and in the process end up in most cases contaminating the natural drink. The same applies to the fishermen who also contaminate the fishes that we consume.

"While man relies on sophistications and heavily guided technology to displace insects, these tiny creatures just make use of their natural brains and wisdom to outwit humans in all technological efforts," the Professor of Entomology said and called for a safer and harmless ways of dealing with insects.

Professor Ernest Aryeetey
Professor Ernest Aryeetey

The Vice-Chancellor of the University and Chairperson of the event, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey in his remark described the lecture as very insightful and indicated it appears “the more we try to eliminate insects, the more we harm ourselves” due to inappropriate ways of applying chemicals meant to control these insects. He stressed on the need to educate farmers, fishermen and the general public on how to properly apply pesticides and insecticides in order to reduce the contamination in our crop and animal foods.

The Registrar of the University, Mrs. Mercy Haizel-Ashia noted the importance of inaugural lectures as it provides the University an opportunity to recognize and showcase the academic achievement of its staff with the general public.

Prof. Owusu received gifts from the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, Japanese embassy in Ghana, departments he has served in, old school mates and family and friends. 

Chief of Staff, Hon. Julius Debrah (Left), Japanese Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Kaoru Yoshimura (middle), Chairman of University Council, Justice Samuel Date-Bah (right)
Chief of Staff, Hon. Julius Debrah (Left), Japanese Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Kaoru Yoshimura (middle), Chairman of University Council, Justice Samuel Date-Bah (right)

The lecture was attended by the Chief of Staff at the Presidency, Hon. Julius Debrah, Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Mr. Kaoru Yoshimura, Chairman of the University Council, Justice Samuel Date-Bah and many other dignitaries.

Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu is the incoming Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana. His appointment takes effect August this year.

Click to see all photos of Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu Inaugural Lecture.

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