Jul 05, 2012 at 8:26am
A New Face for Ghana’s Flour Industry
Ghana is to institutionalize the production and availability of composite flour by wheat flour millers by the year 2015.
The composite flour must contain at least 5% of alternative flours such as High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF), Corn Flour and Sweet Potato Flour.
In view of this, the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST), with support from the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and its agencies (Food Research Institute and the CSIR Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI)) has organised a one day Stakeholders workshop on a Draft National Composite Flour Policy.
Speaking to participants and the press, the Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, Ms Sherry Ayittey expressed government’s concern on promoting local products especially when they guaranteed the abundance of food at affordable price for the low income earners in the country.
According to her, the composite flour products that have been developed by the CSIR – Food Research Institute could be used to bake all the local varieties of bread and pastries with high nutritional value.
Ms Ayittey expressed the view that some composite flour programmes failed because of lack of regular supply of raw materials.
She, however, stated: “to arrange for thousands of tonnes a year of any agricultural products to be bought and brought from many small farms to a central point, requires a very high level of planning, a good transport infrastructure, suitable storage facilities and a technological capability to ensure high and consistent quality”
“It is in this direction that the Government is taking steps to embrace commercialization of composite flour technology and initiate plans to pilot the production of baked products in schools and hospitals”, she stated.
She noted that there was the need for government to give the initiative the necessary legislative backing in order to reinforce the political will of government.
Ms Ayittey added that “the success of the legislation would create new commercial outlets for family agricultural operations, processing units, bakeries and finally reduce wheat imports.
A presentation by Dr.
Mamaa Entsua-Mensah, who was the Chairman for the 12-member Committee that led the policy document raised concerns on how Ghana depended largely on imports to support wheat consumption.
She revealed that wheat consumption had increased from 173,000 metric tonnes in 2005 to about 300,000 metric tonnes in 2011.
“Price increases have demonstrated to all stakeholders the need to look for local alternatives to the wheat flour in the flour based industry”, she said.
The Chairman for the occasion, Dr.
Abdulai Baba Salifu in his remarks, advised Ghanaians not to depend on how much we could import into the country but try and produce locally to add value to our economy.
He noted that the huge amount of money spent on importation could be used to develop other sectors of the country’s economy.