Officials at the Center for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Animal Research Institute have warned of a possible collapse of the institute following widespread encroachment on the institute’s land.
The development, they said, threatened research and technology development activities as well as the lives of personnel.
The invaders wielded weapons such as rifles and sometimes fired indiscriminately.
The destructive activities on the more than 1,000 acre land at Frafraha off the Adenta-Dodowa road has led to the destruction of many projects such as a piggery, hatchery, guinea fowl housing project, pen sheep farm and a meat processing plant.
The projects have been sponsored by the government and some international partners such as the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) and the World Bank.
Also, the residence of the institute staff and the security posts were also affected by the encroachment.
A senior researcher at the institute, Dr. Edmund Sottie, who spoke to reporters on Tuesday, April 13, 2022, said research equipment had also been stolen by criminals and ground guards.
“The activities of criminals and land guards on our lands greatly jeopardize government and donor investments in research and development facilities here at the institute,” he said.
Some ongoing constructions on the grounds of the Animal Research Institute
He said the situation had become an international embarrassment as partners needed to be made aware of the threat to the projects.
“The peace and lives of our institute staff are threatened by these criminals,” Dr. Sottie said.
The institute was established with the mandate to develop technologies to improve poultry and livestock production.
The plot was acquired taking into account its ecological characteristics.
Over the years, Dr Sottie said the institute has contributed immensely to improving the productivity of poultry and livestock, thereby improving farmers’ incomes and livelihoods.
Some of the technologies developed and transferred include an ARIBRO broiler breed, innovative feeding technologies for poultry, cattle, sheep and goats, cane rats and rabbits; insects for food and waste management.
Others are technology for sexing guinea fowl, reducing mortality of young guinea fowl, and improving high-yielding, drought-tolerant pasture plants for livestock.
Land encroachment activities, he explained, peaked in 2017, forcing the institute to build a fence around 200 acres of land which were the parts that had not been heavily encroached.
“Yet unscrupulous people ventured into the fenced area, destroyed our property, including large parts of the walls, and built houses or fenced off large tracts of land,” Dr Sottie said.
He called on law enforcement and the government to help protect the lands, facilities and personnel of the CSIR Animal Research Institute, which was a national asset.
Another researcher, Dr. Charles Domozoro, said fighting the invaders was a daily battle.