Women farmers train in cassava processing

Santa Opio, Global Water Initiative (GWI) "Champion Farmer" collecting cassava in her fields. Subsistence farmers in East Africa are facing huge challenges because of climate variability which means that they often experience a shortage of rainfall in the growing season. They have traditionally relied on rainfall for irrigation, but now need to adopt new techniques to ensure that they can continue to survive and feed their families.

Eighty farmers drawn from two districts in the Eastern Region have undergone training in modern ways of cassava processing.

The farmers, mostly women from the East Akyem and Atiwa districts, were taken through food safety and best practices. They were later taken on a field trip organised by the Women In Agriculture Development (WIAD) Department of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA).

Addressing the farmers, the national focal person of WIAD, Madam Paulina Addy, urged them to adopt the best practices in the preparation of gari and cassava dough.

She said cassava had a huge market and that the hygienic aspect in its processing must be properly adhered to.

She, therefore, warned them not to do anything that could result in the contamination of their products.

“You must ensure that your surroundings, equipment and other ingredients used in the preparation of your products are devoid of particles and insecticides. You must dress neatly and be very healthy”, she added.

Madam Addy advised them to put the knowledge acquired into practice since their products, particularly gari, had a huge market.

The Eastern Regional Director of MOFA, Dr Frederick Gyebi Twum, warned the participants against the adulteration of their products.

He was happy that the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) had confiscated adulterated palm oil from 10 markets in Accra and Tema, and said in view of this, his office was going to put measures in place to avert such situation in the Eastern Region which is one of the largest producers of palm oil in the country.

He expressed the hope that the training would go a long way to improve upon the processing of cassava into gari and dough.

The Officer in charge of WIAD in the Eastern Region, Mrs Christina Konu, said the training programme would be extended to other districts and municipalities in the region.

Source: Graphic.com.gh

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