The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) is to conduct feasibility studies into the use of cassava to generate electricity.
An innovation, developed by two brothers, Kwasi Ansah and Kojo Ansah, combines fermented cassava with soil and other materials to produce power that enables people to charge their mobile phones, power radio sets and also provide light.
The two, who could not continue their education after JHS due to financial difficulty, came up with the novelty last year in response to the country’s need for alternative source of energy, to meet the demand of consumers.
In addition, the two brothers designed a mini generator using old car batteries which generates power that can be used for basic household needs such as lighting and phone charging.
The rechargeable equipment is portable and is charged by connecting it to a solar panel to power mobile phones and provide lighting.
To help scale up the innovation, a meeting was held between the MESTI Minister, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, and the two brothers in Accra yesterday.
At the meeting, the Ansah brothers demonstrated how the mini generator operated but said the other plant that used cassava to generate electricity was not portable.
They explained that they drew their motivation from the firefly which produced light without cables.
“We have been thinking about how to contribute to solving basic needs in the community, especially the need for electricity. Every day, we see cassava go waste, so we prayed to God to show us how to make good use of it.
“We were inspired through revelation by God to do what we are doing. We want to scale it up so that many people can benefit from it,” they said.
After probing the pair on the operations of the devices, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said the ministry would take a holistic look at the innovation and offer the necessary support that would help to improve upon it.
He encouraged the young brothers to remain focused and not let their poor education background be a stumbling block.
He, however, added that the two ought to consider acquiring formal training to update their skills to enable them to pursue their innovation.