As part of CSIR-STEPRI`s participation in the PARI project, a 2016 baseline study among actors in the rice value chain revealed that several post production constraints negatively affect the marketing, utilization and consumption of local rice in the Hohoe and Jasikan Districts. To contribute toward addressing these challenges, a training workshop was organized for the rice value chain actors to enhance their skill in processing rice into various appealing and marketable products with the overall objective of increasing production, utilization and consumption of local rice.
The training, which was held on 21-22 February, 2017 in Akpafu Mempeasem, was attended by 30 participants including four men.
The overall objectives of the training were to:
- Increase utilization of rice in the production various nutritious and quality products
- Add value to broken rice grains
- Diversify income sources of rice value chain actors
The specific objectives were to:
- Enhance skills in weanimix production (cereal-legume mix) using the recommended Ministry of Health and UNICEF weanimix formula
- Enhance skill in soybean processing before milling into flour
- Enhance skill in pastries and baked goods production using rice-wheat composite flour
- Enhance knowledge and skill in hygienic food handling, processing and packaging
- Enhance skill in costing raw materials and inputs
The Akpafu and Jasikan rice innovation platforms have no training centres with equipment hence the PARI project provided most of the equipment that were used for the training. These included:
- Gas oven
- Gas cylinders
- Table top gas cooker
- Coal pots
- Mixing bowls and Basins
- Biscuit cutters
- Chopping boards
- Rolling pins
- Packaging materials
- Sealing Machine
- Weighing scale
- Baking sheets
This equipment is being kept with the Akpafu group and can be used for other trainings in future. The PARI project also provided all the raw materials and ingredients used for the training.
The Resource Persons, Reverend Mrs. Nyuieme Adiepena and Mrs. Rose Gbadago who are experienced food processing trainers imparted their expertise to the trainees. The products produced were:
- Four variants of weanimix containing soybean and various combinations of cereals such as brown rice, while rice, millet, maize, wheat.
- Cookies produced from brown rice-wheat composite flour
- Cookies produced from white rice-wheat composite flour
- Fried pastries from white and brown rice-wheat composite flour
Overall, participants were very happy about the new skills they have acquired particularly in weanmix production, which some of them did previously without using the recommended measurements of ingredients. The Akpafu group has started making contribution towards the establishment of a processing centre for adding value to rice.