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28.06.2004 General News

Ghana needs storage facilities

By GNA

Accra, June 28, GNA - Mr Kwaku Owusu Baah, Chief Director, Ministry of Food and Agriculture on Monday said one of the greatest challenges facing the agricultural sector was post-harvest-losses, which accounted for about 30 per cent of the country's yearly food production. He said, if Ghana could build cold storage facilities, most farm produce could be preserved.

"The country's produce, like tomatoes, bananas, okro are going waste and the thrust of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is, therefore, to design interventions that would address the problem, he said.

Mr Baah, who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on challenges facing the country about post-harvest-losses and how to address it said, he was in India in April this year at the invitation of an Indian Company which was playing a frontline role to understudy their system.

He said India had made the strides in addressing post-harvest-losses and the technology could be replicated in Ghana. He said Ghana's High Commission in India was working towards getting some Indian Companies with the relevant expertise to help Ghana to establish some of the cold storage facilities in Ghana.

He said Ghana was seeking India's technology because India was another Third World country, with technology that was suitable to Ghana and considerably cheaper.

In an earlier interview with Prof Mike Ocquaye, Ghana's High Commissioner in India on areas of strengthening economic co-operation between Ghana and India, he mentioned areas like sugar, wood and palm oil plantation development and processing as vital ventures in which the two countries needed to collaborate.

He said Ghana imported about 50 million dollars worth of sugar a year, an amount that could be reduced if Ghana's sugarcane production was well developed and processed.

The semi-process form of sugar, molasses, was cheap and was used in almost all Indian homes and "Ghana could also do the same if we had the appropriate technology," he said.

Professor Ocquaye said oil lubricants and detergents and even manure could be produced if the country's oil palm industry was well developed.

He said such initiatives were being taken within the framework of the President's Special Initiative to help develop the private sector and improve agriculture.

"Ghana is making proposals for India's assistance in this direction to develop the sector, which is the mainstay of the economy," he said.

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