In an attempt to help address post-harvest losses in tomato production, Ghana’s Crop Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-CRI) has produced a tomato jam.
The African country is the world’s second-largest tomato consumer, second only to Germany.
Research data indicates that postharvest losses of tomato occur at the pre-consumer level, estimated at between 20 and 50 percent. To reduce these losses, postharvest technologies are suggested.
Now, Ghana’s crops research institute and the Korea Africa Food and Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (KAFACI) believe the tomato jam is critical to improve production and increase the shelf-life of tomatoes on the market.
Dr Evelyn Adu-Kwarteng with the Horticulture division of the CSIR-CRI is the Lead project coordinator under which the jam was developed.
“If people in the communities have this capacity to process tomatoes, and present it to the outlet in the city, it becomes a trump card for the farmers such that they can also have a say in how much their fresh produce is sold for from their farms,” she said.
This is a project that has helped single out tomatoes, as a key crop that the production systems must improve right through to marketing. It was supposed to have wrapped up in February but because of the covid-19 pandemic, it has been extended to August.
Ingredients for making tomato jam
Ingredients for the jam include healthy tomatoes, sugar which is the thickening and preserving agent, then lemon (the juice) and then ginger.
Dr Evelyn Adu-Kwarteng said “Jam in particular is a fruit-based product so we are trying to expose the Ghanaian consumer or the would-be industrialist to this very useful avenue of taking up excess tomatoes from the market.”