Esther Abankwa Writes; How Clean, Safe is the Wheat Imported to Ghana?
Ghana is reliant on other countries for its wheat importation since the climate in Ghana does not support its production.
Wheat is largely used in Ghana for many food such as bread, pizza, cakes and pastries among others, but the bone of contention relies on how clean and safe the imported wheat is for all these consumption.
Statistically, Ghana imports on the average 55,000 metric tonnes of wheat flour annually for local consumption.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture data shows that since 2004, there has been 160 percent increase in the volume of the commodity imported annually.
The foreign exchange requirements for wheat grain and wheat flour imports have ranged between US$118 and US$214 million between 2007 and 2013, according to the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).
Should a 10% wheat substitution in the flour composition be considered, this would translate into between US$11 and 21 million of foreign exchange savings.
However, the imported wheat product quality, standard and safety is still at the lowest stage for Ghana as a consuming country.
With the recent reports on discovery of the use of phosphoric manures on wheat in order to secure earlier ripening, may prove to be an important factor why the government of Ghana must take keen interest in ensuring that wheat imported into the country is not only of good quality and standard, but also should be safe by all standard for consumption by Ghanaians.
Source: Esther Abankwa/newslinegh.com
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