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University of Ghana discovers technology to preserve oranges

The University of Ghana Research Centre (UGRC) at Okumening in the Eastern Region has come out with findings for the preservation of fresh oranges for 60 days in the open.

Under the programme, fresh harvested oranges could be waxed, put in crates lined with polythene sheets and covered with perforated polythene sheets in the open.

This was made known by Mr Robert Impraim, a research assistant at the UGRC during a Citrus Cluster Training programme for citrus farmers from Assin North, Assin South and Kwaebibirim Districts at Okumening.

The training was organised under the 1000 Plus Project being operated by the Ghana Agriculture Associations Business and information Centre for the promotion of the value chain concept in the citrus production industry.

Mr Impaim explained that the findings also prevent unhygienic dumping of harvested oranges on the ground and in the open at the farm gate and marketing centres.

He said the use of the crates helped the citrus farmers in grading and pricing of oranges.

Dr Kwabena Ofosu-Budu, a research fellow at the centre taught the farmers how to use poultry manure, dried or decomposed cocoa husks and oil palm waste to fertilise their farms.

He explained that there was a bill before Parliament that would make it illegal for uncertified persons to produce and sell planting materials in the country.

Dr Ofosu-Budu said the measure was aimed at preventing people from selling fake planting materials to farmers.

He advised the citrus farmers to form strong associations to enable them take advantage of the value chain concept.

Mr Francis Collins Brento, a research fellow with UGRC educated the farmers on the control of fruit flies, black spots, fruit droppings and termites.

He urged them to ensure that they buy their planting materials from credible sources to avoid diseases, which could affect their yield and incomes.

Mr Edward Kofi Ametepe, Kwaebibirim District Director of Food Agriculture who co-ordinated the training, advise the citrus farmers to be guided by the market in the packaging of their produce.

He said there were measures underway to link them to the fruit processing companies in Accra and Tema and the National School Feeding Programme.

Source: GNA

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