IAST Holds 2nd Interactive Forum With Industry

Mr J. Kweku Bedu-Addo, Chairman

The Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST) has organized the 2nd Interactive Forum with Industry, on the theme, “Industrialization of Indigenous Food Processing for Food Safety, Security and Nutrition”. The forum which took place at the Centre for African Wetlands, University of Ghana campus was attended by industrialists, regulatory bodies and academics.

Mr J. Kweku Bedu-Addo, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Limited and Chairman of the Advisory Board of IAST chaired the Forum.  In his opening remarks, he stated the importance of ensuring that research corresponds with the needs of industry. 

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Prof. Sammy Sackey, Acting Director of the IAST

The Acting Director of the Institute, Prof. Sammy Sackey noted that the purpose of the forum was to find out what the needs of various segments in the industry are, study some issues that have been identified and also identify their priorities.

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Deputy Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Musheibu Mohammed –Alfa

The Deputy Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Musheibu Mohammed –Alfa, who was the guest of honour, congratulated the Institute for embarking on efforts to assess the needs of the food processing and packaging industry. He emphasized on the importance of the food and drinks industry to the Ghanaian economy, especially as the sector employs a large number of people.

 Dr. Mohammed-Alfa lauded the University of Ghana for establishing such an interdisciplinary applied research institute which recognizes that the problem of development requires different approaches in the sciences, technology and innovation disciplines. Consequently, he stated that the focus of the forum which is food processing and packaging technologies to ensure safe, nutritious food and food security in Ghana, is timely and must be supported. The Ministry, he said, is awaiting  the inception of the Institute’s proposed Legon Agriculture and Food Venture Centre (LAFoVC) which will support primary processing and packaging of roots and tubers, cereals and legumes, fruits and vegetables and natural products of traditional nutritional value and facilitate pilot scale production. He was hopeful that some of the benefits of the forum will be an enhancement of processed products and packaging technologies which he believed would bring about advancement in  the Ghanaian economy.

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Mrs. Isabella Mansa Agra, FDA                           Madam Leticia Osafo-Addo, CEO of Samba Products


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Prof. Robert Hinson, UGBS                                   Mr. Salman Munkaila, EDAIF

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Madam Stepanka Gallatova, FAO

Presentations were made by various stakeholders in industry. Mrs. Isabella Mansa Agra from the Food and Drugs Authority briefed participants on the procedures for registration and certification of products and noted that, certification of products is not mandatory. Madam Leticia Osafo-Addo, CEO of Samba Products, also presented on the challenges involved in putting new products on the market and ensuring quality of the product as well as recognizing the changing trends. Prof. Robert Hinson, from the University of Ghana Business School, spoke on how to market and advertise products to gain the right people, customer sensitization and creating a good image. Mr. Salman Munkaila of the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF), made a presentation on the role his organization plays by accessing finance for start-ups and scale-up operations. A final presentation by Madam Stepanka Gallatova from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), gave a link between the demographic trends in Africa and its implication of food demands due to population growth and urbanization. A number of questions were asked after the presentations and answers provided accordingly.

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Participants at the breakout session

There was a breakout session where participants were put into groups to identify and prioritize needs of the processing and packaging industry to inform on the further development of food processing and packing departments at University of Ghana.

On the way forward, Prof. Esther Sakyi-Dawson of the Department of Nutrition and Food Science noted that, based on all the recommendations given, the need for setting up a facility for small scale industries where their needs can be addressed with regards to product and packaging issues will be useful. She also mentioned the need for training workshops, equipping them with skills to advertise their services appropriately and allocation of funds for laboratory tests, among others.

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor, in charge of Research Innovation and Development, Prof. John Gyapong, and Provost of the College of Agriculture and Consume Sciences, Prof. Kwame Offei , participated in the forum.

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 A Section of participants at the Forum


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Exhibitions at the forum