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India Funds $2 Million Greenhouse Tomato Production Project in Ghana to Boost Agricultural Sector

Ghana currently produces over 300,000 metric tonnes of tomatoes, 90 per cent of which is consumed locally and accounts for 38 per cent of a family's expenditure on vegetables

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Production of tomatoes. Flickr
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Accra, November 4, 2016: India is funding a $ 2 million project for the greenhouse production of tomatoes in Ghana to increase yields and boost the agricultural sector, the Indian mission here has said.

“The concept was developed keeping in mind the enormous dependence on tomato and tomato derivatives in Ghana and with the objective of increasing local production of tomato to boost the agricultural sector,” the High Commission said.

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“Once the research establishes the high yield varieties suitable according to the agronomy of the region, farmers in Ghana would once again be able to espouse tomato cultivation on a large scale to make it commercially viable and remove the dependence on imported tomatoes for processing and consumption,” it added.

India’s National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) is jointly implementing the project with the Soil Research Institute of Ghana’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

“NRDC has set up research projects in three location at Kumasi, the Ashanti regional capital, Ada in the Greater Accra Region and at Navrongo in the Upper East Region,” its corporate communications chief, A. Pradhan told IANS in an email interaction.

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Research by local consulting firm, Goodman AMC says Ghana currently produces over 300,000 metric tonnes of tomatoes, 90 percent of which is consumed locally and accounts for 38 percent of a family’s expenditure on vegetables.

The NRDC is has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the CSIR to set up an Incubation Centre to facilitate the creation of start-ups to enable the transfer of technology.

The MoU would also support potential entrepreneurs in developing business ideas, business plans and models to boost innovation and productivity in various sectors. The CSIR will make the necessary arrangements to operate and run the Incubation Centre with technical assistance from NRDC.

The High Commission also said that through the MoU, NRDC will assist CSIR to develop a suitable business innovation platform for the promotion of entrepreneurship and startups to fill this vital gap, thus leading to skill development of the youth .

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Goodman AMC said the project has come at a time when the “demand for tomato paste (in quantity and quality) is also spreading in the sub-region and could provide a meaningful consumer base for locally-processed tomatoes”.

It notes, however, that Ghana’s tomato processing industry remains small and the country relies heavily on imports. Ghana is estimated to consume in excess of 100,000 tonnes of tomato paste annually at a cost of more than $100 million. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google not to offer controversial face recognition technology. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?