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28.06.2004 Business & Finance

Scientists recommend setting up of factories for cassava flour

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Kumasi, June 28, GNA - A team of scientists have recommended to the government to consider directing some of the factories being set up under the President's Special Initiative (PSI) on cassava to process cassava flour instead of concentrating them all on starch production. They observed that cassava flour and high quality gari processing were equally crucial in the cassava development chain and should therefore also be supported to flourish just like it was being done for starch.

The team acknowledged the fact that, even though starch was of high value and in high demand externally, cassava flour in particular was of great value and had a variety of uses too on the domestic market. The recommendation was contained in a report presented at a final workshop organised by the International Centre for Development Oriented Research in Agriculture (ICRA), organised by the Netherlands in collaboration with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the German Technical Co-operation (GTZ) in Kumasi on Monday.

The one-day workshop, which was attended by six participants from Ghana, Uganda, Zimbabwe, India and Vietnam, was to create a platform for the scientists to present their final report on prospects of cassava development and processing in Ghana.

The study team comprised of five international multi-disciplinary scientists and their Ghanaian counterparts and had conducted a three-month study into prospects of cassava development and the constraints in Ghana.

Madam Margaret Taoma Moyo, a member of the team of scientists who made the presentation of the report, said cassava flour if given the needed attention by policy-makers, could help cut down on wheat importation for baking of bread.

Mr Osei Owusu-Agyemang, co-ordinator of the PSI Cassava Starch project, said even though factories under the PSI on Cassava were currently based on the production of starch, plans were afoot to extend the facility to other components of cassava.