The Ghana Australia Alumni Association (G3A), has held a capacity building programme for 50 cassava processors from Ada East and Ada West to improve handling practices.
The cassava processors were taken through improved ways of processing cassava and its products, good hygienic and safe environmental handling techniques to boost their competitiveness on the local and international markets.
Cassava is widely promoted by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture as an important crop that contributes to food security and poverty alleviation.
However, because of poor technical know-how, processors often employ unhygienic practices thereby reducing the quality of the products.
It is in this direction that G3A with support from the Australia Direct Aid Programme (DAP) and the Eastern Regional Agricultural Department organised an exposure visit for 50 cassava processors to Milenovise Good Practice Centre in Korkormu, in the Region.
Secretary of G3A, Ms Mildred Suglo said research had shown that a high percentage of food sold in Ghana does not conform to microbiological standards and pose a threat to human health.
“Processed cassava products in Ghana include gari, cassava dough (agbelima), and Cassava Powder (konkonte) is widely consumed by households, chop bars, restaurants through to hotels. However, many Ghanaians may be at risk of food poisoning if processors, who are key in the food value chain, do not use hygienic methods,” she said.
Ms Suglo explained that food becomes unsafe when it contains substances that could cause harm to the consumer.
She said unsuitable packaging and transport conditions, unhygienic handling and bad preservation of cassava are factors that might compromise food safety.
She urged them to package their products well to attract local consumers and improve the products ability to hit international supermarkets.
Ms Suglo said to ensure commitment to quality and enhance consumer confidence, customer satisfaction and market penetration business and companies should develop quality management systems to boost their income flow.
The G3A expressed gratitude to the Australia High Commission for the support.
The G3A is a registered group of Ghanaians who benefited from studying in Australia.
The main purpose of the Association is to promote Australian education, foster oneness among alumni and to encourage the pursuit of national development.