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Business News of Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Farmers encouraged to explore economic potential of sweet potato

Farmers and other stakeholders are being encouraged to explore the business potential of sweet potato along its value chain.

Besides its rich in Vitamin A content, potato is said to have other benefits which remain unutilised.

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Crops Research Institute and the International Potato Centre are spearheading an initiative to reverse the trend.

They are training selected people to act as front liners to propagate cultivation of potatoes to investors.

Food Scientist at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Professor Ibok Oduro explains the need to get business people who will be interested in planting the crop like what they do with cassava.

“The leave is very rich in anti-oxidant, so somebody can go to the business of producing, as a country I don’t see leave production as a business even the ‘kontomire’ people don’t go into it as a business.

For potato, within four to five month you harvest which means three times a year you have something to sell as business person”.

As a food scientist, she is also upbeat about the need to incorporate them into our local food.

Facilitator of the course, Putri Ernawati explains it will also explore the appropriate post-harvest handling methods to better benefit from the crops potential.

“With the training, we open the mind of people on how to use, how to handle the crop like other crop, we try to explore the technique of post-harvest handling from the international potato centre.”

Apart from the business of the crop, officials say sweet potato is the right alternative for Vitamin A food.

They observe it is the right means of addressing Vitamin A deficiency in Ghana especially among children which is a major cause of worry.

Professor Ibok Oduro wants the public to take advantage of its attendant rich vitamins which cures vitamin A deficiency diseases.

The training program will last from 22 May to 2 June under the theme, “Everything you need to know about sweet potato”.