The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is embarking on a fight against protein deficiency in Ghana by using Palm Weevil Larvae, locally known as ‘Akorkono’.
The University has received $1 million from the Bill Clinton Foundation and 112,000 Canadian dollars from the Grand Challenges Canada Foundation to start the project.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Kwasi Obiri-Danso announced this during the 2016 founders’ day special Congregation in Kumasi.
These palm larvae, a delicacy in some rural parts of Ghana, grow in dead palm trees.
” Akorkono is one of the edible insects and it’s delicacy in the forest zones of Ghana,” he said
The project will breed them on a large scale to serve as the main protein ingredient in the rural diet.
It’s part of a fight against protein malnutrition in developing countries like Ghana using insects.
“In what is known as Akorkono or palm larvae project we have 1 million dollars from the bill Clinton foundation and 112 , 000 dollars from the grand challenge foundation and is this was to find a quicker and efficient means of solving protein malnutrition in the developing countries,” says Prof Obiri-Danso.
KNUST and Aspire Food Group are promoting this initiative in Ghana under the name, Palm Larvae project.
Meanwhile, Professor Obiri-Danso says the university will admit most of its brilliant teaching and research assistants into postgraduate programmes.
They will be employed as graduate assistants and given monthly stipends.
Professor Obiri-Danso announced a nine percent increased in undergraduate female students’ enrollment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programmes in the 2016/2017 academic year.