The Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology in collaboration with stakeholders is to undertake a National Cassava Project to fight poverty, Ms Sherry Ayittey, sector Minister said on Thursday.
She said; “The ministry in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), is designing a programme that will help fight poverty and create employment nationwide”.
Ms Ayittey said this during an interaction with officials of CSIR when she visited the Root and Tuber Products Development Unit (RTPDU) of CSIR at Pokuase, a suburb of Accra, to familiarize herself with its operations.
She said as part of the project, a cassava processing centre would be established in all the 170 districts to boost agriculture production and reduce importation of flour.
She said cassava was chosen for the project due to the plant’s ability to resist drought and the numerous benefits derived such as cassava flour, industrial alcohol, glucose, gari and cassava dough.
Mr Nanam Tay Dziedzoave, Head of RTPDU who took the minister round, said the major challenge of the unit was finance and lack of modern logistics.
He said the unit, established about 18 years ago, produced different kinds of food products from cassava including cassava dough, gari, starch and kokonte.
Nii Ofie Nkantabisa III, Pokuase Chief, appealed to the government to help stop a contractor from destroying the Gua Koo (Forest).
He said the plants in the sacred forest served as medicine and had been the source of spiritual, cultural and social inspiration to the Pokuase Community.
Nii Nkantabisa said the only stream which served as a source of water for the area had also been polluted.