A research scientist at the Crop Research Institute in Kumasi, Mr Kwadwo Adofo, has advised the public to be careful with the food they consume as some of them could be detrimental to their health.
He said certain individuals imported some varieties of foods from other countries which had not been scientifically proven to be healthy for consumption.
Mr Adofo, who is also a Sweet potato breeder, was speaking at an event organised by Farm Radio International in collaboration with the Editors Forum, Ghana (EFG), to educate the general public on the benefits of Orange Flesh Sweet Potato (OFSP).
“We are aware that some people import other varieties of potato and other foods and even try to grow them for consumption. In some instances, nature deals with them and the plant is not able to survive the changes in our weather conditions.
“However others get away with them and sell to the general public. The responsibility lies on consumers to know what they are eating and not jump unto any bandwagon just because everyone is doing so,” he advised.
Mr Adofo said the potato is a highly nutritious food which was naturally endowed with Vitamin A and capable of fighting Vitamin A deficiency.
Some of these benefits, he noted included good vision, healthy skin, growth of bones, normal sperm production to aid reproduction and protection against chronic diseases.
He however, expressed concern over the short shelve period of the fresh potato, adding that it would be advisable for the raw potato, to be converted to flour or chips so it could last longer.
“The fresh potato may not be edible after three months and so while we continue the research on ways to keep it longer, it would be better for us to have an alternative to preserving it much longer.”
The Country Director of Farm Radio International, Mr Ben Fiafor, expressed gratitude to the EFG for giving them the platform to inform the public on the health benefits of the potato and the opportunity to exhibit a variety of dishes and preparations.
He said their aim was to increase the cultivation and consumption of the potato as well as encourage people to grow them on commercial basis.
Earlier, the Chairperson of the EFG, Ms Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, said they were excited to be associated with championing the benefits of the potato.
“What I find extremely exciting about today’s event is the fact that it is not only a briefing, but there is also an exhibition with the orange sweet potato at centre stage. More interesting, there will be the opportunity for all of us to have a taste of it in a variety of dishes and preparation,”she said.
She expressed the hope that the collaboration would help popularise the benefits of the food.