Accra, Dec. 14, GNA- Madam Pearl Selormey, a consultant nutritionist, has called on employers to provide workplace nutrition programmes for their employees.
Madam Selormey, who is a Consultant Dietician at St Elizabeth Catholic Hospital Hwidiem, in the Asutufi South District, explained that such programme interventions would help improve productivity and the overall health of the employee.
Madam Selormey said this during the launch of the Business Platform Meeting and Sector Reports, in Accra.
She said a global nutrition report had shown that poor diet and malnutrition at the workplace remained unacceptably very high.
However, workplace nutrition is important because most adults spend about one-third of their lives at work.
“The workplace is a good place to start and effect change around how people eat because what and how we are eating has a long impact on how well we do,” Madam Selormey said.
She warned against eating sugary diets and others at the workplace as that exposed employees to diabetes and non-communicable diseases.
She said one of the ways employers could start the programme was to engage experts to conduct health screening for their staff.
Madam Selormey suggested to employers to also focus on the introduction of healthy snacks for the employers.
This, she said, could be done to avoid employees, leaving the workplace in search of food on the streets, which sometimes, they were unsure of the ingredients used.
Madam Pamela Otchere, a consultant, speaking on another report titled “Fruit Processing in Ghana” said Ghana currently has an estimated 2,240 tonnes per day of installed processing capacity for fruit juice and concentrates.
It used about 62 per cent of that capacity in 2019.
She said an installed processing capacity of 868 tonnes per day was underutilized as most of the processing companies currently operational were not producing at full capacity.
She said it was also observed that only 172 out of 216 processing companies were functional and fruit processing companies could be categorized into companies producing for both export and local markets and those producing solely for the local market.
The consultant said six major processing companies were involved in fresh pre-cuts, dried and fruit juice products that were exported mainly to the EU market.
For the domestic market, she said fruit processing was undertaken by several SMEs located primarily in Accra, but also other big cities near fruit-producing areas.
Madam Otchere said the total volumes of the fresh fruits processed were estimated at 18,016 tonnes per year and about 83 per cent of the total fresh fruits processed constituted pasteurized juice, while 17 per cent was freshly squeezed juice.
She said most processing companies have strong linkages with tropical fruit producers and exporters to ensure that a strong supply base was continuously guaranteed.
Based on the analysis, she for the necessary steps to be taken to address the challenges identified for the fruit processing sector to become operationally and financially sustainable.
The consultant said on the supply and demand of raw material it was imperative that producers and processors work very closely together and funds for irrigation facilities should be made available together with the appropriate technical advice on best irrigation practices.
She said investing in technology that was suitable for the size of the processing company and assuring that equipment was of good quality would enhance the processing and enhancement in skills needed to be done either by involving the colleges, the input companies to ensure adequate training as well as on the job training.
The Reports were commissioned by HortiFresh West Africa with support from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
HortiFresh is a programme supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which has prioritized commercial agriculture in its strategic plan of moving from aid to trade.
The programme’s mission is to establish “a sustainable and internationally competitive fruit and vegetable sector that contributes to inclusive economic growth, food and nutrition security” in Ghana and Ivory Coast.
The reports are Catalogue of selected Indigenous Vegetables in Ghana, Onion and Tomato Pest Guide, Workplace Nutrition, Fruit Processing Report, Mango Guide and Citrus Guide.
Source: Ghana News Agency