Food Processing operations are a significant source of waste generation, a major user of energy and a contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Over the years, women in resource constrained rural environments have developed local food processing and preservation technologies that minimizes the use of water and energy resources while maximizing the use of raw material resources, as coping strategies toward addressing their food security and nutrition. However limited attention has been given to these innovative and climate smart technologies applied by women in the rural areas especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

Given the limited attention to this topic and issues surrounding it The Food And Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in collaboration with the CSIR-Food Research Institute and the CSIR-Science and Technological Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) has organised a 2-day regional workshop in Accra to identify innovative climate smart technologies applied by women in rural areas, in order to foster their effective uptake, adoption and sustained use.

The two days conference was dubbed: Climate-Smart, Innovative Food Preservation and Processing Technologies Applied by Women in Rural Area in Sub-Sahara Africa.
In his welcome address, the Director –General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR, Prof Victor Kwame Agyeman pledged readiness of his outfit to provide the expertise in efforts to reduce impact of climate change on rural farmers with multiple solutions.

Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, the Chief Director at the official opening of the workshop, , Mrs. Levina Owusu said climate change was confronting every country and continent making it a global issue. She cited a typical example of continuous rains in Ghana even in the month of OCTOBER and said those were destroying crops, damaging properties and displacing people.

She commended the FAO and CSIR, the organisers of the workshop for focusing on the rural woman and pledged the ministry’s support of activities geared at reducing the impact of climate change whilst promoting activities of the rural woman. On her part, the Deputy Regional Representative of Africa, FAO, Jocelynthe G. Brown Hall expressed optimism that the meeting would discuss ways of adding value to all kinds of food to ensure that at least some 70 percent of women in Agriculture get fairly paid for the work they do.

She was of the firm conviction that participants at the conference would consider reduction in emission intensity of food processing operations and enhancing their resource efficiency, which necessitates the use of Climate-Smart technologies. Climate-Smart food processing and preservation technologies may be applied at any level of the food value chain to enhance productivity and resilience and contribute to improvements in national food security.



Source: Corporate Affairs Division, CSIR, Head Office

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