The Thai and Vietnamese teams of the Gratitude project made a visit to Nigeria and Ghana early in August 2013, to share experience and to strengthen south-south interaction, one of the key activities of the project.
In Nigeria, the Thai and Vietnamese collaborators were hosted by Professor Lateef Sanni of the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB). They were taken to visit a large scale cassava processing industry – Thai Farms, an emerging medium scale HQCF producing factory – Psaltry Starch, and a small scale HQCF producing factory – Peak Products. They also visited the mushroom production facilities at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), another Gratitude partner, who have been developing various mushroom species for over 20 years.
The team met the Vice-Chancellor of FUNAAB, Professor Olusola Oyewole, who pledged his support for the visit and commented that the essence of research was to impact knowledge and urged the project team members to ensure they make the best out of their research efforts.
The team then moved on to Ghana where they were hosted by the Food Research Institute (FRI) in Accra. They visited a number of enterprises producing a range of processed cassava products, including high quality cassava flour and starch.
On the visiting team were Tu Viet Phu, To Kim Anh and Chu Ky Son from the School of Biotechnology and Food Technology, Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Vietnam. From the National Science and Technology Development Agency in Thailand came Jackapon Sunthomvarabhas and Sittichoke Wanlapatit. Ruth Leavett from NRI also joined in Nigeria.
Chu Ky Son of SBFT said of the visit: "This experience is very interesting and new for us. We can learn a lot of things [from our African partners] and we will try to apply this knowledge in Vietnam, to get more value added in cassava."
The visit was a chance to exchange knowledge and experience, strengthen the south-south interaction within Gratitude and to open new potential co-operation among Asian and African partners in the future.