Published: 08 Nov 2016 Source: University Relations Office (URO)
The Technology Consultancy Center (TCC), a research centre of the College of Engineering of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in collaboration with Turkson Foundation has organized a training workshop for women farmers on improved cookstoves and the processing of agricultural products.
The workshop which was held on the 3rd of November, 2016 sought to introduce the women to improved cooking stoves which represent a modernized way of cooking with no health risks.
Obed Otoo, Research Assistant of the TCC, stated that the improved cookstove was an engineering concept designed to protect women from the high intensity fires of the traditional cookstoves which had adverse effects on the skin. He explained that the new technology had an installed chimney which ventilated kitchens from smoke, thus preventing stuffed environments which posed health risks.
Mr. Otoo further indicated that the TCC was training thirty five (35) women in the first phase of the workshop, and that subsequent workshops would be held in different parts of the country to educate women on the new technology. He encouraged them to take advantage of measures put in place to enable them to acquire one of the stoves for themselves.
Nana Toku Nyameke III, Chairman of Turkson Foundation, indicated that his outfit was responsible for constructing the stoves, with funding from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). The workshop, he explained, was an organized excursion for the women to see the cookstove for the first time as well as give them training on how it was used. He noted that Turkson Foundation’s concept was to get the cookstoves and other technologies to the rural areas to assist in cooking, the processing of agricultural products, fish preservation, gari processing and others.
In this regard, Nana Nyamekye was hopeful that Turkson Foundation would be able to brainstorm with the GEF and the various agricultural organizations on the need to introduce micro-finance processes that would help communities get access to funds to acquire this technology for sustainable development.
Members of the Farmers Organization Network Ghana (FONG) and the Economic Association for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (ECASARD), present at the workshop expressed great satisfaction with the cookstove and the benefits associated with it. Mrs. Mary Konadu Yiadom, a member of ECASARD, saw the new technology as cost-effective as it required less fuel for multiple cooking. She added that it was environmentally friendly with no negative effects on the eyes and skin caused by excessive smoke. She hailed the workshop as enhancing networking among the various women involved in agriculture.
Gladys Serwaa Adusah, the women’s leader for the middle zone, FONG, called for government assistance as farmers in her organization lacked the interventions and subsidies that farmers in areas such as cocoa and coffee production benefitted from.
The workshop was attended by executive members of FONG and ECASARD in the southern sector of Ghana. These are women’s agricultural groups which aim at seeking donor funding and capacity building for their members. Members of the groups are primarily farmers, traders and teachers involved in palm kernel production, oil palm production, gari processing and fish mongering.