Cocoanet, a group of student who developed a module which can easily identify the various disease which attack cocoa plants in the country have emerged as the best innovative minds during the 5th Innovation and Career fair organized by the University of Mines and Technology.
The fair on the theme,"Think smart; Be innovative 2019" showcased ten different innovative and entrepreneurial project by the students.
The Innovation and Career Fair organized annually, provides a platform for students of UMaT to showcase brilliant ideas they have developed to make the world a better place and more sustainable for them to transform what they study into feasible projects and bringing to light their entrepreneur potentials.
Explaining why Coconet took such an initiative team led of the CocoaNet Vondee Selasie said, they realized after research that about 80% of cocoa farmers in the country often attribute any disease that attacks their cocoa to a popular cocoa disease called Akate which is not always the case .
“We went to most of the farmers and they were not able to tell me what was affecting the cocoa crop, most of them said it was Akate, so I said how can Akate be affecting all the crops. Definitely there are different types so if they are all saying is Akate they could be using chemicals that were not right to treat their diseases that was what motivated me to go in for“
She added that they went to various farms to take images of cocoa and then we use a server which, incorporated machine learning that is an artificial intelligence to do the research.
Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Jerry Kuma, noted in his address that the main objective of the fair was to help unearth the entrepreneur potentials in their students.
He said it was also a flagship programme of the University, which would continue to be one of the main pillars in the training of their students.
“Our students are thus given the opportunity to bring to light their entrepreneurial potential s that would impact positively in our communities and the world at large," he noted.
Explaining more on the theme, the Vice Chancellor, said it was relevant because the current global economy was characterized by constant innovation product improvement and competition.
He said as the best public funded University in the area of science and engineering education, they fully support the President's policy of a Ghana beyond aid.
Prof. Kuma said to achieve the President's vision, the creative and advanced ideas of these young students who were the future leaders should receive financial assistance from the government.
Hon. Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, an alumnus of University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, who chaired the 5th Innovation and Career Fair of the university, contended that it is prudent for government to develop and sustain financing for innovation, given lessons from developed countries.
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