You are here: HomeNews2012 07 18Article 245072

General News of Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Source: Emmanuel Opare Djan, Daily Democrat

Ghana To Save US$5b From Use Of Composite Flour Annually

Ghana stands to benefit immensely if composite flour is adopted and accepted for use in the preparation of some staples that solely rely on wheat flour.
The adoption of composite flour as alternative to imported wheat flour which has increased from 173 thousand metric tonnes in 2005 to 300 thousand metric tonnes in 2011 has the potential to save the nation over US$5billion annually.
A study has shown that replacing wheat flour with 20% non-wheat flour (composite flour) for the manufacture of bakery products would result in an estimated savings of US$2 billion annually to Ghana.
With a set target of 50% under the Ghana Composite flour policy, the country can make savings of foreign currency of about US$5billion annually.
These savings can then be used for developments in other critical areas of the economy for sustainable economic growth needed to improve the living standard of the people.
Such an agenda, if successfully implemented will bring sustainable employment, income and create wealth for Ghanaian farmers and also help stabilize the country’s currency for improved Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and economic growth.
It is in this regard that the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST) under the dynamic leadership of Madam Sherry Ayittey, has taken the initiative to create a platform for the utilization of composite flour.
The scheme aims at substituting at least 50% of the use of imported wheat flour with composite flour to reduce the huge cost the nation incurs in the importation of flour.
To ensure composite flour utilization in Ghana achieves its economic, political, social and technological benefit with a legal frame work, a national composite flour committee has been inaugurated by the Minister for environment to draft the composite flour policy.
The goal of this policy is to transform the country’s flour industry to make provision for at least 50% composite flour use in the bakery industry as a means of expanding markets for locally produced crops.
The policy, among other things, would seek to guarantee the quality of composite flour, institutionalize the production and availability of at least 50% of alternative flours by wheat flour millers by 2015.
It will also facilitate the consistent and regular supply of high quality composite flour and other alternatives flours at competitive prices to meet potential demand.
The policy is expected to create an enabling environment for the utilization and consumption of composite flour with public awareness education to disseminate its socio-economic and commercial benefits.
The Minister stressed the need for firm and resolute measures to re-orient the flour industry to embrace the concept to reduce the country’s dependence on importation of wheat flour.
The formation of the national committee through the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology demonstrates government’s commitment to actualize Ghana‘s science, technology and innovation policy.
The committee has membership of experts and representatives from key government institutions and other stakeholders under the chairmanship of Dr.Mamaa Entsus-Mensah.
She noted, if the country continues to depend on wheat flour alone in view of the rising cost in world market prices, the country’s foreign exchange rate would suffer.