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Ghana to host Int’l conference on cassava

An International Conference and Exhibition on Cassava Utilisation and Marketing is scheduled to take place from September 13 to September 18, in Accra.

The conference will provide the platform for countries and investors to connect, share best practice and promote investment.

It will provide a stage for researchers, policy makers, financiers and industrialists to meet and discuss utilization, marketing and other emerging issues in the cassava value chain.

Mr William Agyei-Manu, the Executive Director, Ghana Cassava Centre of Excellence, organisers of the conference, speaking at the launch of the conference said the exhibition would provide companies and organizations the opportunity to showcase their products and services and take advantage of this unique and large audience.

He said the two events were aimed at providing a comprehensive opportunity for stakeholders to interact, exchange, network and share ideas on cassava utilisation.

He said cassava value chain is a very promising industry and it could be the game-changer towards national prosperity and growth.

He said the country could develop a sustainable cassava programme that comprised of adequate raw materials availability, sound post-harvest management practices and increased processing of fresh cassava roots.

Mr Agyei-Manu said there should be a national policy on high quality cassava flour, which could be mixed with the wheat flour to boost the rural economies.

He said if the country took advantage of mechanization of cassava for commercialization purposes, it could take the opportunity to dominate the Asian market.

The Executive Director said more than 90 per cent of small holder farmers were engaged in the cassava value chain and there was the need to develop that area.

Mr Kofi Nuhun, the Director of Manufacturing, Ministry of Trade and Industry commended the effort of the organisation to promote cassava value chain.

He said the Ministry would provide the needed support for the conference to make it a success, adding that, enhancing the value of cassava would provide employment and income for the people.

Topics to be discussed at the conference, include the overview of the value chain: the challenges and bottlenecks in the utilization and marketing of cassava roots, promoting cassava value chain for sustainable development and economic transformation in Africa and international trade of high quality cassava flour, starch and ethanol: the role of an international chamber of cassava.

The rest are National policies at supporting transformation of the cassava value chain, Renewable energy production through cassava waste management, the role of small-holder farmers and out-growers in the commercial production of cassava roots and the prospects of pharmaceutical raw materials from cassava. 

The event was used to launch the National Cassava Week celebrations, inaugurate the planning committee for the conference and a website developed for the centre.

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