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Kumasi Polytechnic seeks patent for solar fufu machine

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The Kumasi Polytechnic (K-Poly) has initiated action to protect an innovative solar-powered fufu-pounding machine.

It was developed by its Electrical Engineering Department in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agreement (JICA).

This will enable the polytechnic to look for partners in China to undertake mass production of the machine for the local market.

Officials of the institution said lawyers for the polytechnic were preparing to send the machine and other documents to Zimbabwe where the International Property Rights Organisation’s office was located and expected the final certificate to be ready by October 2012.

Intellectual property rights give the owners of ideas, inventions, and creative expression the right to exclude others from access to or use of their property for a certain period of time.

The machine, christened “ solar fufu mama” can also pound palm nuts for the preparation of palm nut soup.

It was developed taking into consideration the sentimental attachment Ghanaians have for the traditional way of pounding fufu, a popular delicacy in Ghana.

Consequently, the machine has a pestle and mortar but the pounding is done mechanically without resorting to the rather unhygienic and energy-sapping application of manpower.

The mortar and pestle can be changed when needed.

During a visit by Daily Graphic to the Engineering Faculty,  Dr A. Osei-Twumasi, Dean of the Department of Electrical Engineering, said the main idea behind the innovation was to advance the technological development of the country by making maximum use of the sun.

He also said the mechanism was synchronous with the sun, which was an added advantage for the user.

Dr Osei-Twumasi said being aware of the economic challenges of the people, they would try to make the machine affordable to enable more people acquire them.

Commenting on the initiative, the Rector of K-Poly, Professor N.N.N. Nsowah-Nuamah, said many people were not satisfied with the processed fufu being sold on the market. That was why the polytechnic came out with the innovative machine that  imitates the traditional method of pounding fufu without the use of manual action.

He noted that the development was a testimony of the polytechnic’s resolve to use teaching and research to the advantage of the people.

Source: Daily Graphic

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