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The CSIR-FRI has held a two-day final dissemination workshop for the Institute for yam producers and exporters association, mushrooms association, agricultural extension officers, and project scientists to end a three year project called “Gains and Losses in Root and Tuber Crops (GRATITUDE) from 3rd to 4th March 2015.

The workshop was made up of 12 presentations and discussions, an exhibition of posters, products and publications of the projects and participating companies and institutions as well as demonstrations of yam sprout control and improved storage structure.

The presentations included Reduced post-harvest losses in fresh yams, Value Added Products from cassava and yams, Overview of utilization of waste from cassava, Food quality probiotic production from fermented cassava effluents, Hygiene in mushroom production and adding value to wastes.


Dr. Rose Mamaa Entsua-Mensah, Deputy Director General of the CSIR who chaired the opening day noted that the project was a North-South collaboration. European institutions (from Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom) were representing the North; Private and public sector institutions in Ghana, Nigeria and Thailand representing the South to produce good outputs from the waste of yam and cassava.
Nana Osei Bonsu, Board chairman of the CSIR-FRI thanked all who have been involved in the three-year project noted that the processing of root and tuber crops formed a major part of the daily diet and processing in Ghana and urged researchers to translate the litany of research findings to market and business applications.
The Project coordinator, Profesor Keith Tomlins said that the focus of the project was assessment and management into the value chain of yams and cassava from the point of view of waste. He said the project took climate change and environmental consideration in mind., and also economic losses from yams and cassava, value to waste products, food safety and quality and demonstrating technologies with beneficiaries the development of alternative and new markets, reducing postharvest losses of fresh produce and adding value.
His comments were buttressed by Dr. Charles Tortoe of CSIR-FRI who said in his presentation Reduced Post-Harvest Loses of Fresh Yams” , that GRATIUTDE achieved a lot in alleviating yam post harvest losses (in yam curing, sprout control, yam barn storage) came out with trained farmers ,, agric extension officers, transporters and processors, four brochures ( on yam curing, storage, sprout control and reducing post harvest losses) and two manuals (on some Ghanaian Yams and Improving yam pot harvest) and two journal publications.

The gratitude project was funded by the European Union for a three-year period from January 2012 –December 2014. The project was led by the Natural Resources Institute of the University of Greenwich. Participating institutions included the University of Wageningen, in the Netherlands, Catholic University of Portugal, CSI-FRI, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO) and private and public sector organizations from Thailand., Vietnam, Ghana and Nigeria.

It was attended by about 80 participants including the work package leaders or their representatives. These included Dr. Nanam Dziedzoave, director of CSIR-FRI and work Package 2 leader, Profesor Anton Sonnenberg of the University of Wageningen (WP4 leader), Professor Manuela Pintado of the Catholic University of Portugal (WP5 leader), and Profesor Lateef Sanni of the University of Abeokuta (WP6 Leader) and Dr. Magda Verfailly, a mushroom mycelium consultant from Belgium. 



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