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.

 

Event

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.

 

Energy

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.

 

Achievement

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

“THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19 IS A SHARED RESPONSIBILITY” – DR. DANIEL ACHEL, RESEARCH SCIENTIST-GAEC

A research scientist, Dr. Daniel Achel, has emphasized the need for Ghanaians to support the efforts of Government in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Daniel Achel of the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute (RAMSRI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) made this call when he delivered a lecture at the maiden monthly seminar series for the year 2021. The seminar was on the theme; COVID-19 Vaccination: No One Wins Until Everybody Wins.

In his presentation, Dr. Achel outlined the various interventions undertaken by the government of Ghana to help curb COVID-19, notably, the acquisition and rollout of a vaccination programme.

“From 16th March, 2020, the President suspended all public gatherings exceeding 25 persons, closed down universities, and instituted a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for Ghanaians who were travelling from countries with at least 200 infected persons”, he elaborated.

He explained that the vaccination was not a new way of controlling diseases and cited examples of the role vaccines had played in tackling polio, measles and diphtheria among others.

“Vaccines elicit an immune response against a germ so that when the same individual is exposed to that germ later, it remembers it and produces a stronger secondary immunity”, he clarified.

Dr. Achel indicated that a successful vaccination programme would thrive on trust and acceptance and gave an example of the debilitating effects of the polio virus in Nigeria (in 2003) when  five Muslim dominated states refused to administer the polio vaccines under the false impression that the vaccines were meant to eliminate Muslims in the world.

“Consequently, polio infections shot up in Nigeria by 400 percent between 2002 and 2006, while variants of the poliovirus were transported to 23 different countries, costing an additional 500 billion dollars to defeat the infection”, he said.

Touching on some COVID-19 statistics, he indicated that there are about 128 million infections and 2.8 million deaths globally, while Ghana had recorded over 90,000 infections and 742 deaths as of 1st April, 2021.

“About 4.2 million Africans, representing 3.27 percent of global infections with 114,000 deaths representing 3.99 percent of global deaths have been recorded, I would say that God has been a bit magnanimous to Africa”, he added.

“According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 has shown that our fate is inextricably linked; whether we win or lose, we do so together. Hence, COVID remains a fight for everybody, and it must be fought together. Therefore to wipe out Coronavirus, we need determination, discipline and teamwork”, he emphasized.

The event was chaired by Prof. Mary Boadu, Director of the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission.

By: CPRC, CCD, GAEC

Minister cuts sods for €10 Million E-Waste Handover Center at GAEC

The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation (MESTI), Dr Kwaku Afriyie has cut sod for the construction of a Handover Center for electronic waste at Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC).

The programme held on March 16 brought together several industry players to promote the recycling and disposal of waste of electrical and electronic equipment in an environmentally sound way.

The Minister in his keynote address indicated that the project is critical to the management of e-waste in Ghana because it presents a practical step to curb the practice of indiscriminate burning and disposal of e-waste in the country.

He mentioned that the Handover Center will serve as a storage center for the e-waste materials collected from scrap dealers and individuals.

“The project will offer incentive packages to informal e-waste collectors to encourage them to use the proper channels of disposing off e-waste materials. It will also subsidise the collection and cover additional cost associated with e-waste recycling”, he added.

The Chief Director of MESTI, Mrs Lydia Essuah, in her welcome address, explained that the objective of the project is to minimize the negative impact improper management of e-waste has on the environment and human health. She called for active collaboration to ensure a successful completion of the Handover Center.

“We are looking forward to your effective and efficient collaboration in bringing this project to a successful end within the time we set for ourselves”, she said.

According to her, the government of Ghana in collaboration with the German government, through KfW (a German state-owned development bank) in 2016, signed an agreement to help Ghana’s fight against improper e-waste disposal and to reduce its effects on environmental pollution as well as health risk.

“The project is supposed to buy e-waste materials made up of cables, mixed batteries, thermo plastics and CRT’s”, she noted.

She further stated that the project is in two phases with phase one being the construction of this €10 million Handover Center.

 

The Director General of GAEC, Prof. Benjamin Jabez Botwe Nyarko indicated that GAEC is always looking for opportunities to partner with other government agencies for the socioeconomic development of the country.

He expressed his delight in knowing that the project will start soon and offer opportunities to scientist in the Commission in stemming this menace.

“We are happy the government is putting up this facility on our land as it will deter people from encroaching”, he added.

The Country Director of KfW, Arndt Wierheim, gave assurance of the continued support from the German government.

By: CPRC, CCD, GAEC

STUDENTS FROM AFRICAN INSTITUTE OF MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES VISIT GAEC

Girls in mathematical sciences from the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), as part of their mentorship programme paid an educational visit to Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC).

The key objective of the visit was to enlighten the girls on the practical applications of mathematical sciences using GAEC laboratories.

 

Welcoming the students, Mr. Mark Sarfo, Manager of Communication and Public Relations Center (CPRC) and Dr. Julliet Attah, Head of the Scientific Information and Technology Transfer Unit of the National Nuclear Research Institute stated that the mandate of GAEC is to advice government on nuclear issues and promote the peaceful uses of nuclear and related technologies for the socio-economic development of Ghana.

They further explained that GAEC currently operates a nuclear research reactor to determine the composition of substances at the elemental level.

The pair, together with the team from CPRC led the students to the Nuclear Reactors Research Center and the Accelerator Research Center, where they were educated on the various research activities conducted by scientists in those centers.

Additionally, the students after the tour interacted with resource persons from Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute who educated them on research activities undertaken in their Institute.

The Director of the Nuclear Power Institute, Dr. Seth Kofi Debrah took his turn to educate them on the progress Ghana has made so far in acquiring a nuclear power reactor.

He briefly took them through the processes involved in the generation on electricity from nuclear reactors.

 

Mr. Johnson Singir, the Programmes Officer of AIMS, in showing appreciation for the warm reception made a presentation to the Deputy Director General of GAEC, Prof. Shiloh Osae, on behalf of the Institute.

Prof. Osae in a short statement advised the students to focus on their studies and aspire to become world-renowned female scientist in the future.

By: CPRC, CCD, GAEC