Senior Lecturer at the Department of Food Process Engineering and the Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Professor Firibu K. Saalia has tasked Ghanaian food processing industries to adopt sustainable ways of reducing post-harvest losses.
Delivering his keynote address at the launch of the OR Tambo Africa Research Chair for Food Science and Technology through the Office of Research, Innovation and Development, Prof. Saali indicated that a significant amount of Ghana’s population is faced with the challenge of food security, stemming from huge post-harvest losses incurred from the inefficient use of technology within the post-harvest value chain.
Ghana is supposed to be an agro-based economy since we have a lot of activities around agriculture and yet one in every two Ghanaians is food insecure. This means something isn’t adding up, where’s all the food going to? He said.
Prof Saali believes that the disturbing trend is as a result of the inefficient food distribution system in the country, coupled with unacceptable food safety issues. He explains that this has led to a distortion in the consumption pattern of Ghana’s population, which can only be mitigated through technological advances.
These effects have been further exacerbated by rapid population growth and urbanization in the country completely altering the food consumption pattern of people in the country. In order to manage this trend in a sustainable manner, we’d need to train our graduates to bring up innovations in processing. He added
The OR Tambo project seeks to equalize technological advances in agricultural production and the agro-processing industry in Ghana and the West African sub-region at region at large, due to the dominance of informal processing activities, leading to an estimated 40% of food losses occurring post-harvest and during processing. The initiative will reduce food losses through the adoption of cost-effective innovations, contribute to food and nutrition security, and also impact sustainable national development.
Expressing his gratitude to the major stakeholders of the O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chairs Initiative, he lauded the great work of his research team, key collaborators, Alumni of the Department of Food Process Engineering and the Department of Nutrition and Food Science and the Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID), MESTI among others for their immense support.
Story written by: Adwubi Wiafe Akenteng| univers.ug.edu.gh