Expert Alerts Public On Poisonous Palm Wine

Dr Kweku Agyeman Mensah,Minister of Health (8)Dr Kwame Aidoo, Deputy Director of International Stingless Bee Centre, University of Cape Coast, has cautioned that some palm wine tappers use harmful insecticides to control organisms that cause rot at the incision point of palm trunk, making the wine poisonous.

He explained that insecticides contaminated the wine and made it unsafe for human consumption, adding that “a study found traces of harmful chemicals in palm wine, which can kill foraging honey bees, and it has health implications for people, who consume  palm wine.”

Dr. Aidoo issued the warning at two-day “Global Pollination Project” training for journalists, on the theme: “Management of Pollinators for Sustainable Agriculture Through an Eco-system Approach,” at Somanya in the Eastern Region,

The expert, who is also the Mankessim “STEP Site” Manager of the Global Pollination Project-Ghana, said the tappers preferred easier way of producing wine to the traditional method of using fire to keep the palm trunk dry.

Dr. Aidoo advised palm wine tappers to cover their fermentation vats to prevent the trapping of pollinators such as bees.

He said the production of food to feed the ever growing world population of was dependent on pollinators, and warned the tappers against the wrong use of pesticides, which destroyed pollinators.

Professor Peter Kwapong, Global Pollination Project-Ghana Coordinator, said the country’s environment could improve if pollinators were conserved.

Dr. Rofela Combey, Department of Entomology and Wildlife, University of Cape Coast, said bees contributed more than 60 per cent to the world’s cultivated crops, making them a major stakeholder in ensuring that crops were fertilized to ensure food security, and called for their conservation.

Ghana is part of seven countries participating in the Global Pollination Project, aimed at improving food security, nutrition and livelihoods through enhanced conservation and sustainable use of pollinators.

The project, which began in 2009, is being funded by the Global Environmental Facility, and the Food and Agricultural Organization among other bodies.

The Ghana project involves the creation of cocoa, mango and vegetable sites at Bobiri-Kubeasi in the Ashanti Region, Dodowa/Somanya in the Eastern Region and Mankessim in the Central Region.

GNA

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