General News of Saturday, 13 March 2004
Ada Foah (GA/R, March 13, GNA - The President's Special Initiative (PSI) on Salt project is considering engaging the services of a consulting firm to develop a curriculum on salt production for Higher National Diploma (HND) students of the country's polytechnics. This measure would encourage more Ghanaians, especially the youth to learn more about the various uses of salt and venture into its production, Mr David Kobina Oppong, PSI Co-ordinator on Salt project announced this when he addressed the first ordinary meeting of the second session of the Dangme East District Assembly at Ada Foah on Thursday.
He said; "The present production method is not the best" and that when introduced the curricula would address these problems.
Mr Oppong said salt had about 14,000 different uses in health, agriculture chemical institutions and in other fields but in Ghana it was being under utilized creating the impression that it had limited use while the country imported salt.
According to him, if the laudable programme for salt production went on uninterrupted in the next five years it should be possible to turn the fortunes of salt production and boost the country's economy.
He said adopting modern technology in terms of pricing, efficiency and delivery, Ghana could produce a capacity of three million tonnes of salt, which could create jobs for about 45,000 persons and generate annual revenue of about 150 million dollars.
Mr Oppong stressed the need for concerted efforts to develop a system, which would go a long way to increase salt production, saying that salt exported to neighbouring Burkina Faso was largely used for cattle consumption.
He stated that it was about time Ghana put in vigorous efforts into salt production to be abreast with the international community, adding that a comprehensive blue print would be put in place to deal with the issue.
"When all plans go through, consideration will be given to the study and establishment of a special "salt harbour" that will lift salt to the final destination for processing.
An advisory centre would also be established to offer advice on salt technology, he said and urged interested persons who wanted to venture into that area not to hesitate to contact his outfit, for quick assistance.
Mr Oppong stated however, that all these plans could not go through if there was no land to execute it and appealed to the district assemblies and the chiefs and elders of areas that produced salt to consult with their people to willingly release lands for the project to start.
He said 50 percent of salt production in the country was generated from the Dangme East District, with the rest come from places in the Western, Volta, and the Central regions.
To address the land issue, the Ministry of Mines would be encouraged to set up a technical committee to see to the land acquisition and licensing.
The Co-ordinator advised against the pollution of the sea in order not to affect the quality of the salt.