The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng
The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, has commended the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for its innovative ways of adding value to food crops.
He said such measures were helping to protect and promote good nutrition in the country in support of government efforts in ensuring a healthy population.
The minister stated this in a press statement to mark the Day of Scientific Renaissance of Africa (DSRA) today (June 30).
The DSRA is celebrated in accordance with the African Union resolution passed in Addis Ababa. It is celebrated across Africa in remembrance of the continent’s great contribution to the rise and development of modern science and technology.
This year’s event is being celebrated on the theme, “Rethinking Food Security and Nutrition in the Midst of COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Over the years, the CSIR has played a leading role in adding value to crops to produce instant fufu, high-quality cassava flour for fortified gari, bakery pastry products, industrial cassava flour for the paper and textile industries as well as maize rice, soya beans and groundnuts for weaning foods among others,” he said.
In addition, he said, “technologies on pre-cooked yam chips and chunks as convenience foods, fruit cocktail drinks and juices of pineapple, orange, mango, pawpaw, lemongrass and others have also been developed by the CSIR.”
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said the ministry placed greater emphasis on food sovereignty, self-reliance, and exploring diversification of crop production activities as well as the scaling up of underutilised crop species that were healthy and culturally accepted.
Touching on the theme, he said, Africa had become the continent with the highest prevalence of undernourished (PoU) in spite of its vast land resources.
He said Ghana could lose up to 30 per cent of its production due to the adverse effects of COVID-19, indicating that that could aggravate the already challenging effects of climate change and its associated effects and led to the shortfalls in the production of the major food crops.
The minister said it was against that background that the ministry had put more efforts through its agencies to assess and strengthen existing nutrition emergency response, risk assessments and clearly warning surveillance systems.
“These measures border on promotional local food production and consumption, creating food and nutrition database for better emergency preparedness planning, supporting local industries with technical skills and technology to process diverse nutritious food products and provide evidence-based guidelines for food consumption,” Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said.