The University for Development Studies (UDS) is to collaborate with the Mexican Embassy in Ghana to implement a pilot project on Nixtamalization technology in Northern Ghana. The technology is an ancient Mexican technology for processing white corn, which significantly reduces levels of aflatoxins. The project thus has the potential of reducing public health and food security challenges associated with the consumption of corn and improving economic growth. An MoU was signed between the between the two parties at the UDS Office in Accra, after which a four delegation from the Embassy paid a working visit to UDS-Tamale Campus to introduce the project concept to the Vice Chancellor of UDS.
The four member delegation which was led by the Deputy Head of Mission with Mexican Embassy, Marcos Moreno included Executive Director of the Business Council of the Corn Industry and its Derivatives, Greta SibilaVillaseñor Flores, Researcher at the National Research Institute in Forestry, Agriculture and Livestock (INIFAP), Eng. Alberto Trujillo Campos and an Expert in Nixtamalization mill machinery, Oscar Valverde Urzúa. The leader for the delegation, Macros Moreno stated the choice of UDS for the collaboration was a strategic decision and in line with the aims of the projects, which is to empower women and to help deal with the problem of malnutrition in rural communities. He believed the project equally had the potential to strengthen educational relations between Ghana and Mexico.
The Vice Chancellor of UDS, Professor Gabriel Ayum-Teye mentioned that the introduction of the technology would be relevant to Northern Ghana, as maize is the staple food of the North. He added the knowledge of the technology would also be beneficial to students studying food processing related courses in UDS. Professor Ayum-Teye said UDS being a Development-focused University is ready to support any project that will eventually lead to rural economic empowerment.
The project is to be coordinated by Dr. James Owusu-Kwarteng of the Department of Applied Biology, UDS.