Tiger nuts, the tuberous rhizomes marble-sized orbs are one of the most nutritious and hottest superfoods on Ghanaian and international markets with great economic benefits.
To improve tiger production for local and international consumption to contribute to food security and economic benefits, the Mosaic Grove in collaboration with the Ghana Food Movement has organized the maiden edition of the tiger nut conference with the theme: Ghana’s Untapped Gold Mine at Impact Hub, Osu-Accra.
To comply with the latest development and compete to improve food security, there is the need to mechanize Ghana’s agriculture, especially with tiger nuts production. In the fourth industrial revolution era, it is critical to adopt technology to make farming attractive to pull the youth into the agriculture sector to curb the unemployment menace in the country, Prof. Emmanuel Bobobee, KNUST said.
From a mechanical point of view, tiger nuts should be harvested by using a combined harvester to avert lot of stress. According to Prof, this would make the industry interesting enough for the youth to venture.
He called on the government’s support to create enabling environment for research output from the universities and research institutions to be given the necessary opportunities to flourish in the community.
“The government has been saying the researchers or the scientists are inefficient, yet when the scientists do something proven the government does not show interest and how can the sector develop?” he queried.
He urged the stakeholders in the value chain to take advantage of the huge market, and explore to find out the value-added products that could be generated in order to generate employment and more revenue.
Talking about the economic value of tiger nut, Esther Fobi Donkor Ph.D. mentioned that tiger nut is the gold in the soil. It is a commodity that has a ready market across the world.
Speaking to Agric Today, she said currently Ghana is exporting tiger nut in its raw state, but to get more value for the product there should be processed into flour, confectioneries, and other products that are demanded in the market.
“If we are able to reach our maximum target of about 3metric tonnes production in a year then we will be getting about 1 million dollars for the economy which is very encouraging”, she added.
Madam Edwina Ako, a pharmacist, and a tiger nut processor shared the medicinal value of the crop. As a pharmacist, people used to come to her with lactose intolerance problems, and out of her research, she discovered that tiger nut was the best to address that problem.
She revealed that for over seventeen years now she has been in the value chain and business is very lucrative.
She called on the financial institutions for support to be able to upscale production to meet the demand on the market
“Tiger nut is a wonderful crop and I think when we come together as citizens in this country we can promote this food crop, get it more popular because it is full of magnesium and different nutritional component”, Kaadze Wright, the Founder of Mosaic Grove and the convene of tiger nut conference explained.
As a tiger nut producer, she said if the cultivation could be much easier by mechanizing it and involving more youth in the sub-sector, the crop would be more popular and hence gain more economic benefit for the country.
Talking about its uses the convener believed its uses are very versatile. She mentioned that tiger nuts could be used for pancakes, kebabs, hamburgers, ice cream, and a lot more.