Application of pre and post-harvest conservation methods of food helps in the extension of the shelf-life and thus improve food security and make food available for the lean season.
Professor George Tawia Odamtten, Lecturer at the Department of Plant and Environmental Biology, University of Ghana, Legon disclosed this at an Inaugural Lecture 2017 in Accra on the the topic: “Plant diseases, Crop Production and Food security in Ghana.”
He mentioned disease survey documentation, disease control measures, markets and industrial processing of food as means of conservation, quality control of food to preclude food contamination by fungi toxins as some of the strategies to enhance food security in the country.
He said the Department of Plant and Environmental Biology, of the University should collaborate with related institutions under the one district, one factory initiative to process and package food for sustainable security.
Prof Odamtten said Ghana could take advantage of the wealth knowledge of fungi and micro-organisms and other appropriate technologies to improve quality and extend shelf-life.
He noted that fungi were common and were organised to adapt different modes of absorptive nutrition, destroying crops both in the field and during storage.
“Plant disease is therefore, a dynamic process induced by the presence of a pathogen and other environmental factors, which act in concert to disturb the energy utilisation of plants,” he said.
This, he said, might lead to reduced growth performance in yields, and loses of stored products or death of the plant.
Prof Odamtten alleged that the various markets in Accra deliberately sold fungi infected foods some of which were recommended for preparing ‘Krakoro’, a local buff loaf prepared from ripe plantain.
He said fungi which infected crops in the field and in storage acted together to reduce viability and usable crops for human consumption.