The Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) will host an online workshop to equip food processors, hoteliers, and restaurateurs on how to make and market tomato products.

The two-day workshop, which will take place on June 8 and 9, 2022, is the second edition of the first workshop held last year to provide an opportunity for interested individuals to acquire employable skills to enable them earn a living and improve their living standards.

According to Dr. Mavis Owureku-Asare, a Senior Research Scientist and Head of Radiation Technology Centre at BNARI, the second edition of the workshop is being held virtually to allow many people from far and near to participate.

Dr. Mavis Owureku-Asare (Senior Research Scientist and Head of Radiation Technology Centre at BNARI)

“The first edition sparked a lot of interest and there have been several calls from interested participants within and outside Ghana wanting to partake in the training workshop.” “Indeed, the online approach being adopted was a popular request from prospective participants,” she said.

Dr. Owureku-Asare, who is the inventor of the Ewiahemaa Solar Dryer—a solar-drying technology that preserves fresh tomatoes by processing them into powder, which can then be made into value-added products—said participants at the event will be introduced to the newly developed tomato processing techniques for tomato paste, ketchup, tomato puree, and jollof sauce.

“The technology helps reduce post-harvest losses, generates additional income, and provides a hygienic drying technology for tomatoes.” It also prevents product contamination from specks of dust, birds, and livestock, and extends the shelf life of tomatoes. Other food products such as vegetables, roots, and tubers can also be dried using this dryer, “she added.

Dr. Owureku-Asare noted that participants will be taken through topics such as overview of tomato processing technology; solar drying of tomatoes; processing tomato powder; bottling and canning of jollof sauce and tomato paste; quality management systems for tomato processing, contaminants in the tomato value-chain and marketing of agribusiness.

Participants will receive certificates at the end of the workshop. The resource persons for the training are Dr. Owureku-Asare, Dr. Joyce Agyei-Amponsah, Dr. Freda Asem, Dr. Daniel Ofosu, Dr. Kwesi Akomea Agyekum, Mrs. Adjoa Agah, Mr. Stanley Acquah, and Ms. Abigail Mireku.

The two-day online workshop is being organized in collaboration with the Organization of Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) and supported by Impact Food Hub, GIRSAL and Stanbic Investments Management Services with the aim of providing participants with marketable skills in the tomato processing business.

By Raymond K. Baxey & Mark Sarfo, CPRC/CCD

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