GAEC hosts workshop on tomato processing and marketing techniques

The Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) will host the maiden edition of a two-day workshop on tomato processing and marketing techniques, in Accra, from June 10 to 11, 2021.


The workshop, which is being organized in collaboration with the Organization of Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) is designed for food processors, hoteliers, restaurateurs, and health-conscious individuals who want to learn how to make their tomato products as well as interested individuals who want to acquire an employable skill.


At the event, a newly developed tomato processing technology, a mixed-mode solar dryer called BNARI-Hemaa Kese Dryer, developed by a Senior Research Scientist of the Commission, Dr. Mavis Owureku-Asare will be unveiled.


Dr. Owureku-Asare
Dr. Owureku-Asare

According to Dr. Owureku-Asare, the solar drying technology is to help Ghanaian farmers, food processors, and individuals to preserve fresh tomato by processing it into dried tomato powder which can then be made into value-added products such as canned tomato paste and sauce.


“This will help reduce post-harvest losses, generate additional income, and provide a hygienic drying technology for tomatoes. Other food products such as vegetables, roots, and tubers can also be dried using this dryer. This technology prevents product contamination from specks of dust, birds, and livestock, and extends the shelf life of tomato” she noted.


“Participants will be given a hands-on training, served with lunch during the workshop, and provided with certificates at the end of the workshop,” she added.


Topics to be treated include an overview of tomato processing technology, solar drying of tomato, processing tomato powder, bottling and canning of tomato sauce and tomato paste, quality management systems for tomato processing, and contaminants in the tomato value chain.


Trainers for the workshop are Dr. Mavis Owureku-Asare, Dr. Joyce Agyei-Amponsah, Dr. Freda Asem, and Mr. Kwesi Akomea Agyekum. The rest are Mrs. Adjoa Agah, Ms. Abigail Mireku –Ansong, and Mr. Abubakar Abdullai.

Government urged to invest in nuclear infrastructure

The government needs to make more financial commitment to nuclear infrastructure in order to drive its industrialization agenda to create more jobs for the youth and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


The Director-General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), Prof. Benjamin Jabez Botwe Nyarko, said major investment in nuclear applications was not only crucial to driving its industrialization agenda but also to meet the country’s developmental objectives, particularly in areas such as power production, human health, food production, water management, and environmental protection.


“As a nation, if we want more forward, we must try as much as possible to harness the potential of nuclear energy in our developmental agenda,” he said.



He was speaking at a day’s engagement session with some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on SDGs eight and nine, which was organized by the Nuclear Power Institute of GAEC on behalf of Ghana’s Nuclear Power Program Organization (GNPPO) in Accra.


While SDG eight talks about promoting decent work and economic growth, nine is on building resilient infrastructure, promotion of inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering of innovation.


Participants also discussed the progress made so far in developing the country’s nuclear power program and the roles played by CSOs as agents of development in the delivery of the country’s nuclear power program.



The Director-General said the greatest source of energy, the sun, was the bedrock of every living organism in any country, hence the need for the government to take bold steps in exploring the energy sector for the greater good of the people.


Prof. Nyarko, also the Vice-Chairperson for the GNPPO, explained that the two SDGs were interdependent and that without industrialization there would be no economic development.


“Industries drive the economy of every nation, and for industries to thrive, energy will be required, and not just any form of energy but a dense, stable, clean and affordable energy and that is where nuclear energy comes in.

“We are not saying other energy sources should be abandoned. What we are saying is that it should be an addition to Ghana’s energy mix just as Korea and other developed countries have done and are enjoying the benefits,” he added.



For his part, the Director of Nuclear Power Ghana, Dr. Stephen Yamoah, said the country could not achieve its SDGs without nuclear energy, adding that aggressively exploring nuclear energy would not only increase the country’s generation capacity but would also drive industrial growth while improving technology and services.


He cited South Korea’s industrial transformation and said they regarded nuclear not just as an energy source to be added to their generation capacity but as an industry to propel their economy.


“Today, they are not just an economic giant, they are selling nuclear technologies and nuclear power plants to other countries. Nuclear energy is a very interesting technology that as a country we must take very seriously to help transform our country,” he added.


Speaking for the CSO platforms that work collaboratively to achieve the SDGs in the country, the National Coordinator for CSO Platform on SDG, Mr. Kwadwo Owusu, expressed his gratitude for the involvement of CSOs in the program as it also focused on the country’s Nuclear Power.


“If we make good strides in the generation of energy, I think almost all the SDGs stand to benefit,” he added.


Source: Daily Graphic