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23.10.2008 General News

Citrus farmers want clarity on Procurement Law

By The Statesman

Growers of citrus fruits in the country have indicated that they find the current Procurement Law very cumbersome and for that matter, difficult to comprehend.

They have therefore called for intensive education to enable them know what exactly the law entails and how they could apply it in their day-to-day operations.

This concern was expressed by Nana Entsie Okor I, a citrus farmer, in an interview with States Business last week.

According to Nana, one major problem citrus farmers were facing was that they had not been able to come together and form an association.

He said a lot of efforts had been made but to no avail as the farmers are scattered, unlike cocoa cultivation where many farmers could be living close to one another.

He asserted that their inability to come together had greatly been a stumbling block in their way in respect of their desire to take advantage of the government's procurement procedures.

Nana Entsie Okor I stressed the need for the National Procurement Authority to embark on constant and intensive nationwide educational campaigns to explain in very simple terms what the law entails.

Such campaigns, he emphasised, would be extremely helpful to them as some of them are not that literate to read and understand the law.

When contacted on the issue, Boateng Adjei, Chief Executive of the National Procurement Authority, told this paper that public education was ongoing and that efforts were being made by the Authority to print leaflets that would give very simple explanation of the procurement procedures and other things embodied in the law, for everybody in the country to understand.

Their juice is used as an ingredient in a variety of dishes; it can commonly be found in salad dressings and squeezed over cooked meat or vegetables.

A variety of flavours can be derived from different parts and treatments of citrus fruits. The rind and oil of the fruit is generally very bitter, especially when cooked.

The fruit pulp can vary from sweet and tart to extremely sour. Marmalade, a condiment derived from cooked orange and lemon, can be especially bitter. Lemon or lime is commonly used as a garnish for water, soft drinks, or cocktails. Citrus juices, rinds, or slices are used in a variety of mixed drinks.

The colourful outer skin of some citrus fruits, known as zest, is used as a flavouring in cooking; the white inner portion of the peel, the pith, is usually avoided due to its bitterness.

The zest of a citrus fruit, typically lemon or an orange, can also be soaked in water in a coffee filter, and drunk.

Citrus juice also has medical uses; lemon juice is used to relieve the pain of bee stings.

The orange is also used in vitamin C pills, which prevents scurvy. Scurvy is caused by vitamin C deficiency, and can be prevented by having 10 milligrams of vitamin C a day.

An early sign of scurvy is fatigue. If ignored, later symptoms are bleeding and bruising easily.

After consumption, the peel is sometimes used as a facial cleanser. Before the development of fermentation-based processes, lemons were the primary commercial source of citric acid.