Ghanaian Food Safety Expert and Senior Research Scientist at the Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI) – Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), Dr. Mavis Owureku-Asare, says Ghanaian scientists must be encouraged to recommend solutions that best fit the country’s problems.
According to her, the time is ripe for Ghanaians to look “inward” for solutions to mitigate the country’s food processing and preservation problems.
Speaking on the on-air series of the Citi Business Festival on the topic ‘Research in Action: Food Preservation technology, Dr. Owureku-Asare, who is also an advocate for Ghana to turn tomatoes into tomato paste locally through solar, decried the situation where almost every scientific solution in the agriculture sector is imported into the country
“We have what it takes as Ghanaians and scientists to provide solutions that are tailored towards our needs in Ghana. We do not always need to import ideas and technologies that may not even work out for us. It seems that we are good at importing solutions that we feel we need. This is also because we have not been able to look for them ourselves. We are just importing. Sometimes they are even dumped on us. And when we try to apply them on the field or farmers try to adopt them, it does not work. So, it is important for us to develop our own solutions,” she said.
“We have done these in the past where we have produced our own variants of different crops that are working for us. An example is the ‘tech banchi’ which was invented by BNARI – my institute,” she added.
Tomato is a crop of high economic importance in Ghana, yet providing farmers with reliable processing facilities has been challenging for successive governments.
This problem is not only affecting farmers but the country as a whole.
Also, Ghana is ranked the second-largest importer of tomato paste in the world, and consumes almost an average of 25,000 tonnes of tomato paste every year at the cost of about $25 million.
Dr. Mavis Owureku-Asare is calling on government “to resource scientists to create more solutions that can be adopted country wide to give us value.”
“It is very important for us to support scientists here in Ghana. Science, Research, Technology and innovation demands a lot of funding. That is one thing we very much lose sight of because we feel that it takes a long time to get a product or solution so we do not want to invest. But these are core to our development,” she added.
Tomato records highest increase in price for May – Esoko
A survey of market prices of some selected commodities has shown that the price of cooking tomatoes recorded the highest increase in May 2020.
The average price of a 72 kilogram crate of the commodity went up by almost 13% to record 933 cedis; from the 826 cedis it recorded the month before.
By: Neteley Nettwey for Citi Business News.