Professor Tano-Debrah of the University of Ghana Department of Nutrition and Food Science has maintained that the tropical almond tree (terminalia catappa) known locally as Abrofo Nkatie (Twi) or Gugianbaturi (Hausa) has the economic potential to save Ghana.
Professor Tano-Debrah, who did his Phd in Hiroshima and is a Marie-Curie Fellow is an expert on agricultural oil extraction and has published very widely on the issue.
He said the almond tree can produce fruit within two and half years and can grow anywhere, as it needs hardly any water. He also said the tree harvests three times a year with a very good yield for the land used.
Most importantly, he said, the oil which can be extracted cheaply and easily has a very high value of ten to twelve thousand US dollars per ton on the international market, whilst cocoa has never exceeded three thousand six hundred dollars a ton for the last three hundred years and oil palm is about one thousand dollars per ton. Professor Tano-Debrah made these remarks when the Presidential Candidate of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, led a delegation to interact with the Professor at the University of Ghana, Legon.
At the recent IEA evening encounter, the CPP Flag-bearer, referred to the potential use of the tropical almond tree for generating billions of dollars for Ghana as well as it being a potential job creation vehicle for the growing number of unemployed in the country. “…California earns billions of dollars a year from the almond tree,” he pointed out.
Professor Tano-Debrah gave further details of the uses of the almond tree including but not limited to health (pharmaceuticals), environmental (afforestation-carbon sequestration and food uses), oil, animal feed etc. He also stated that Nana Kwesi Abura, an almond tree expert had invented an advanced processing machine.
Beyond the derivatives from almond tree the CPP flag-bearer also expressed delight that the Department was already involved in economic activities including nicely processed Ice Kenkey milk. “These are the sorts of activities we shall upscale as it represents self determination in practice” he said.
The flag-bearer’s delegation included the Chairman and Leader of CPP, Professor E. N. Delle, First Vice Chairman, Hajia Ham Datu Haruna, Second Vice Chairman Susan Adu-Amankwa and National Campaign Coordinator Rashid Alao.