Food Security Innovations In Maize
Fru Nche, a researcher from Cameroon, has recently completed his PhD thesis Innovations in the Production of Kenkey, a Traditionally Fermented Maize Product of Ghana: a topic important for many areas in West Africa. I was doing my MSc at the University of Wales in Cardiff when I applied for a research job in an European Union project in Ghana, which led to the PhD position here. My research aimed to figure out a way of improving the processing and nutritional quality of fermented maize - Kenkey. Traditional methods, which are similar throughout the region, can take up to six days to create a fermented maize product. This means that a great deal of time and energy is spent on producing something which is consumed almost immediately. The important thing to remember is that placing emphasis upon food production alone is not sufficient to tackle the huge problem of food security in developing countries, and in particular Africa. Much food goes to waste due to problems with
the storage facilities. That is where I focused my energies."
Fru Nche continues, I have created an intermediate product, the name I give to a dehydrated form of maize. It is easy to store and just needs to be boiled with water." Although he admits that it does require input investment in technology, he is confident that it is a feasible process. The signals he has received from the food processing industry would seem to indicate that his work could play an important role in future food security in Africa. Fru Nche welcomes all interested members of the public to attend his PhD thesis defence in the Aula, General Foulkesweg 1a, on Friday February 10th at 4.00 pm.