Government has revealed plans to enhance Tiger Nut business in Kwahu East District of the Eastern Region following a Six-Day visit to South Africa by the District Chief Executive, Hon Isaac Agyepong.
The District Chief Executive for Kwahu East in September 2 visited Johannesburg, South Africa to share investment opportunities for Kwahu East with potential investors for the 1d1f.
In an interview with Agoo news on his arrival after creating positive connections with the investors, he maintained the assembly must support government initiative for One District One Factory in order to create jobs for the youth in the district.
He told Ebenezer Kojo Nyavor (K-Lover) that, he had the opportunity to present the district’s investment potential to the various investors, ‘’we were able to Interact with the Minister of Economic Opportunities in Cape Town, South Africa on Thursday, 7th September, 2017.
He mentioned two major factories that will suit the district, thus: tomato processing factory and garment factory. According to him, most of the investors in Cape Town are into ‘’Agro processing and he believes partnering such investors will enhance agricultural productivity as well as increase household incomes.
In 1998, a baseline survey of tiger nut (Cyperus esculentus) production in the Kwahu South District of Ghana by JP Tetteh, E Ofori was observed that tiger nut production was predominantly the work of women, with 70 per cent of farmers being women and 30 per cent men.
Most men farmers were younger, with 73 per cent of them within age group 15-40 years. The women farmers were older, with 70 per cent of them within the age group 41-65 years.
Farm sizes were small, ranging from 576 to 4200 m2. Two distinct types of tiger nuts, the Kwahu type with yellowing brown nuts and the Fanti type with a mixture of dark brown and black nuts, are cultivated in the area. Consumer preference for the Kwahu type is higher.
The crop is grown on mounds, and it may be intercropped with maize, cassava, or cocoyam. Harvested nuts may be dried with or without washing and stored up to 6 – 12 months in aerated containers.
Themajor constraints to production include high labour cost for land preparation and harvesting. However, the crop has a high export potential.
In other words, health experts say regular consumers of tiger nuts may not suffer from many health problems like cardiovascular diseases, stroke, prostate and colon cancers, hernia, abnormal menstruation and fibrosis.
Research indicates that, in some countries, particularly Spain, the tiger nuts industry is made, with regulatory authorities set up to ensure the quality production of the tuber.
But in Ghana, the product is left in the hands of poor farmers and traders and small-scale industrialists, without government support.
In Ghana, tiger nuts are cultivated in many parts of the country such as Bodweasae, Techiman and Kwahu.
Among all those places, Kwahu-Aduamoah in the Kwahu East District has gained prominence as the production hub of tiger nut (atadwe) making Kwahus pride themselves as being the producers of the sweetest and best ‘atadwe’ in Ghana.
Perhaps, it has become a custom for visitors to Kwahu, especially men, to carry large quantities of the product on their return.
The District Chief Executive said, his 6 day visit to South Africa enabled him to interact with Agents of ‘’Joburg Food Market’ and explained farmers in South Africa do not sell their products unlike Ghana.
According to him, such an opportunity will bring development in the area, ‘’at the end of the day farmers can now produce more on large scale, they will have people who can by the tiger nut then export the product into South Africa. So what it is that, we have entered into an oral agreement with those agents’’. He affirmed.
He explained the product will be firstly packaged in samples and deliver through Ghana Export Promotion Council to enable the district move into serious business with the South African Food Market making it possible for farmers to operate ‘’atadwe’’ in large scale quantities.