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AN OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF TAKORADI POLYTECHNIC Volume 3, Number 1, April 2014 Published by TAKORADI POLYTECHNIC TAKORADI, GHANA, WEST AFRICA Takoradi Polytechnic Journal of Technology All rights reserved; no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by means of electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publishers. Takoradi Polytechnic Journal of Technology TPoly J. Tech Vol.3 (1) 2014:1-9
Climate Change and Agricultural Productivity: A Case Study of Maize Production in Ashanti
and Brong Ahafo Regions of Ghana
JF Eshun, Takoradi Polytechnic, Ghana SO Apori, University of Cape Coast, Ghana EY Wereko, Takoradi Polytechnic, Ghana
This study utilized mixed methods to assess fertilizer and fuel use in maize production in Ghana,
their impact on greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions. Two hundred maize farmers cultivating
more than 2 ha (5 acres) were purposively selected and data on input for maize production
collected, collated and analysed for fertilizer and fuel input per a hectare of maize cultivated.
International emission inventory data was used to estimate pollutants such as carbon dioxide,
methane and nitrous oxide generated per each hectare. The study revealed that approximately
468.91 kg CO2-equivalent of GHG is emitted per a hectare of maize production in the Ashanti
and Brong Ahafo Regions. Of all the activities generating GHGs considered, fertilizer
application accounted for the highest emission, 73 %. The study recommended that Ghana
establishes a system that could monitor GHG emissions and generate information that might be
utilised for environmentally-friendly options in crop production.

Ghana's agricultural sector plays a crucial role in reducing poverty and achieving economic growth. The sector contributed 37.3 % Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2009 and provided livelihood for more than 60 % of the population (World Factbook, 2010). The central objective of Ghana's growth and poverty reduction strategy is accelerated growth through a modernized, vibrant and competitive agricultural industry (MoFA, 2009). Agriculture is a source of income, employment and food supply in Ghana. However, it has failed to effectively reduce poverty among the rural population. Maize grows best on well-drained sandy loam soils in areas with a minimum rainfall of 1016 mm p. a (MoFA, 2009); it is produced in almost all the agro-ecological zones in Ghana. Maize yields approximately 1.5 metric tons per hectare (MoFA, 2009). Based on the achievable yield, it is economical to use fertilizer at optimum rates on maize, especially, in the Transition Zone. Low productivity is the greatest challenge for development in this sector. Optimum fertilizer requirements are needed to improve agricultural productivity technology. About 80 % of the total agricultural production in the country is characterized by high input of energy – fertilizers and chemical biocides – which contribute to several environmental burdens (Connor et al,. 2008; Daker et al., 2008; Erenstein et al., 2008; Fulu and Yousay, 2008; MoFA, 2009; Penning and Conrad, 2007; Yang et al., 2007; Zou et al., 2007). Agricultural production activity has the potential to release greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere. GHGs have the potential to absorb and emit radiation within the thermal infra-red range. The effects of greenhouse gas emissions and the consequent climate change exemplify systemic global climate change. This change modifies global properties of the earth system and opposes local and regional conditions, the cumulative effects of which changes have attained global significance. The cumulative global climate changes are exhibited by widespread problems such as groundwater depletion, deforestation and species extinction that may affect a large portion of the world's groundwater supply, forests, or biological diversity (Walker and Schulze, 2007). In other words, GHGs impact upon people, places and systems. Climate change threatens food security and development; its impact will become more pronounced where poverty is pervasive and social safety nets are weak. Negative effects of climate change are likely to be greatest in regions currently experiencing food shortages, and may even be significant in those regions that have reduced food shortages over the past half-century (Walker and Schulze, 2007). Consequently, there is an urgent need to conduct greenhouse gas inventory studies targeting the reduction of GHGs emission impact from agricultural production. Takoradi Polytechnic Journal of Technology TPoly J. Tech Vol.3 (1) 2014: 10-23 The Effect of Levolar Fortetm: A Mushroom Based Food Supplement on Glycemic Control,
Lipid Profile, and Liver Function in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

A Quarcoo, Accra Polytechnic, Accra HE Yanney, Accra Abstract
This study evaluated the efficacy of Levolar fortetm, a mushroom-based nutraceutical on
glycaemic control, lipid profile and liver function in type 2 diabetics. Ten diabetics from a
hospital in Ghana, aged 45 to 69 (m/f=1/9), were selected after screening. Patients took (3000
mg x 2) of Levolar Fortetm for seven weeks. Sampling was done after the third and seventh weeks.
After seven weeks, plasma fasting glucose decreased by 25.71 %, s-cholesterol decreased by
10.45 %, s-LDL cholesterol reduced by 10.35 %, while s-HDL cholesterol decreased by 6.56 %.
The s-cholesterol/HDL ratio also declined by 3.44 %, s-triglyceride declined by 14.46 %, while
s-ALT decreased by 9.03 %, with s-AST decreasing by 6.31 %. Finally, s-non-HDL cholesterol
decreased by 7.23 %. It was concluded that Levolar Fortetm may be a safe adjunct support for
type 2 diabetes management.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 347 million people worldwide have diabetes. In 2004, an estimated 3.4 million people died due to high blood sugar. More than 80 % of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries (Diabetes – Fact Sheet No. 312, 2014). Diabetes and accompanying complications have a significant economic impact on individuals, families, health systems and countries. For example, WHO estimated that between 2006 and 2015, China would lose $558 billion in foregone national income due to heart disease, stroke and diabetes (Diabetes – Fact Sheet No. 312, 2014). The impact on developing countries could be severer due to inadequate resources with which to ably manage the condition. Amoah et al. (2002) indicated that Ghana had a diabetes prevalence rate of about 6.3 %. Potential side effects of common diabetes drugs like sulfonylureas, biguanides, metformin, alpha glucosidase inhibitors, thiazolidinediones and meglitinides include low blood sugar, stomach upset, skin rash or itching, weight gain, kidney complications, fatigue or dizziness, gas, bloating and diarrhoea. Others are liver diseases, anaemia and swelling of legs or ankles (Diabetes Medication Side Effects, 1999). Such side effects, coupled with the inability of some medication to control blood sugar, have necessitated the search for alternative and natural means of blood sugar management. Some mushrooms have been found to have beneficial effects on blood sugar levels in diabetics. These are treated as functional foods that work in a holistic manner to ameliorate the effects of diabetes in sufferers. Some mushrooms appear to be effective for both control of blood glucose and modification of diabetic complications without side-effects (Pathirage and Yunman, 2011). Among mushrooms known to have hypoglycemic effects are Tremellafuciformis (berk), Wolfiporia extensa (Peck) Ginns, Ganoderma lucidum (Curtis) P. Karst, Ganoderma applanatum (Pers.) Pat. and Collybia confluens (Pers.: Fr.) Kummer, Auricularia auricula-judae (Bull.), Agaricus campestris (L.), Agaricus subrufescens (Peck), Inono tusobliquus (L.), Hericium erinaceus (Bull.), Agrocybea egerita, Coprinus comatus (O. F. Mull), Cordyceps sinensis, and Grifola frondosa (Dicks.) (Pathirage and Yunman, 2011). These mushrooms are also known to have sugar reducing properties. Levolar fortetm is a food supplement intended to support healthy blood sugar metabolism. It is made up of a number of mushrooms and plant extracts, namely, Cordyceps sinensis full spectrum, Grifola frondosa extract, Coprinuscomatus extract, Salacia oblonga extract, biotin, chromium polynicotinate, cinnamon extract full spectrum (Levolar Fortetm, 1999). Takoradi Polytechnic Journal of Technology TPoly J. Tech Vol.3 (1) 2014:24-30 Durability Investigations of Lesser-Known Ghanaian Wood Species
GA Quartey, Takoradi Polytechnic, Ghana E Zuercher, University of Applied Science, Civil and Wood Engineering, Switzerland. K Frimpong Mensah, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana Abstract
The study investigated the natural durability of two lesser-known and eight lesser-utilized
Ghanaian wood species. These wood species were studied for their natural durability by field
test according to British Standard 7282 (BS1990). By the ratings used for the weight loss,
Blighia sapida, the status of which was unknown, had a weight loss of 26.57 % for heartwood
and 36.44 % for sapwood which fell within 11-40 % of the weight loss rating, therefore, was
classified as moderately durable. Sterculiarhinopetala was found to be durable. Teak (from
plantation), used as reference species, was of moderate durability.

The natural tropical forest resources in several timber producing countries like Ghana are becoming exhausted, resulting in the decline and reduced availability of the preferred commercial species such as Afzelia (Afzelia sp), "Asanfena" (Aningeria sp.), Ceiba (Ceiba pentandra), Emire (Terminalia ivorensis), "Koto" (Pterygota macrocarpa), Mahogany (Khaya grandifoliola), Niangon (Tarrietia utilis), "Odum" (Milicia excelsa), "Ofram" (Terminalia superba) and "Wawa" (Triplochiton scleroxylon),among others. There is therefore the need for a sustainable management of these forest products by investigating other lesser-utilized timber species (LUS), instead of over-exploiting a few commercial timbers linked with degradation of natural stands. The pressure can be reduced by obtaining a full utilization of the different species, with optimal value added and possibility of substitution. Consequently, lesser-utilized species have been investigated and are being used as substitutes for the well-known species some of which are gradually becoming extinct. An example is "Dahoma" (Piptadeniastrum africanum) which is successfully being used as a substitute for "Odum" (Milicia excelsa) (Okai, 1998). A successful promotion and utilization of LUS will yield a temporary relief and reduce demand on the few commercial species. It is expected that the efficient utilization of the LUS, if regulated by controlled-felling and extraction, would improve sustenance of tropical timber resources and reduce negative ecological impact such as desertification and extinction of species (Okai, 1998). For efficient utilization, the database on these LUS must be extended, especially, their structural and mechanical wood properties. Some works done on these LUS are about natural decay resistance tested by using fungi in the laboratory (Kumi-Woode, 1996). Oteng-Amoako et al. (1998) worked on the identification of 14 LUS. Huang (2004) tested decay using white rot and brown rot fungi. Oteng-Amoako et al. (2008) provided a macroscopic identification manual for a 100, mainly, lesser-known tropical African species. Kumi-Woode (1996) worked on 14 LUS, including Amphimas pterocarpoides ("Yaya"), Antiaris toxicaria ("Kyenkyen") and Canarium schweinfurthii ("Bediwonua"). It was found out that Amphimas pterocarpoides ("Yaya") was not durable when subjected to fungal attack. Takoradi Polytechnic Journal of Technology TPoly J. Tech Vol.3 (1) 2014:31-36 Factors Influencing the Ingestion of Clay in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana
A Woode, Accra Polytechnic, Ghana Abstract
A survey was conducted in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana to determine why some people
eat clay (geophagy).Questionnaires were administered, and the responses were analysed using
SPSS Version 16. It was found that over 60 % of the respondents started eating clay before they
reached the age of twenty, and about 17 % continued to ingest thereafter for taste, flavour and
medicinal properties. A regression analysis also indicated that the level of education of
respondents had a significant (p<0.05) positive effect on the eating of clay. It was recommended
that education should be used as a tool to discourage ingestion of clay in order to prevent
diseases associated with geophagia.

The ingestion of geological materials, a practice known as geophagy, is a fairly new area in medical geology which investigates the effect of eating geological materials such as clay on human and animal health. Geophagy has existed for a very long time as a culturally accepted practice in many societies. It is sometimes associated with pregnancy, poverty and famine and is also thought to be a psychiatric disorder (Woywodt and Kiss, 2002). In Ghana, geophagia is prevalent among 28 % of women of reproductive age and children (Tayie et al., 2013). Soil-eating during childhood is less frequent in boys than in girls. Among boys, the practice decreases with age while no such age trend was apparent among girls (Bisi-Johnson et al., 2010). In Ghana, some women practise geophagy for various reasons including cultural, medicinal, source of livelihood and pleasure (Vermeer, 1971). In other African countries such as Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria, eating of clay is prevalent among pregnant women and children and is openly practised (Al-Rmalli et al., 2010; Woywodt and Kiss, 2002). In Sub-Saharan Africa, geophagy is associated with anaemia and iron deficiency among pregnant women (Kawai et al., 2009). Profet (1992) has however indicated that the consumption of clay by pregnant women may improve digestion and reduce the effects of toxins. Geophagy is also practised in India, Bangladesh, North America, South America and Europe (Ghorbani, 2008). Geophagic clays, like other geological materials, may contain some important mineral elements such as copper, iron, manganese and zinc which might have useful health benefits to consumers. Clay could also be the source of harmful elements such as arsenic, mercury, lead and cadmium (Al-Rmalli et al., 2010; Ekosse et al., 2010). Geophagic clay sold in Accra markets have been found to have levels of these harmful elements far above the permitted maximum tolerable daily intake recommended by the World Health Organization, therefore, could have a negative health impact on consumers, if consumed at 70 g/d or more and on regular basis (Woode and Hackman-Duncan, 2014). Additionally, geophagy clay may contain pathogens and worms that could affect the health of consumers (Ghorbani, 2008). According to Ekosse et al. (2010), however, heat treatment of clay could render the soil safe of microbes, bacteria and other pathogens. The fact that clay may have some benefits to the consumer has been proven by other researchers. Ngole et al. (2010) found that some clay with high water retention capacity may be effective in the treatment of diarrhoea. According to Dominy et al. (2004), gastrointestinal adsorption is the most likely reason for human geophagy . Takoradi Polytechnic Journal of Technology TPoly J. Tech Vol.2 (1) 2014:38-47 Relevance of the Higher National Diploma Tourism Curriculum in Preparing Graduates
for Industries in Ghana

SB Owusu-Mintah, Cape Coast Polytechnic, Ghana Abstract
Polytechnic education is expected to prepare graduates for industry; monitoring would enable
stakeholders to determine whether that mandate is being fulfilled or not. This study used mixed
methods to assess courses in the Tourism Curriculum, Cape Coast Polytechnic to ascertain their
relevance in preparing graduates for industry. Data from a sample of 205 graduates working
with various organisations, and a content analysis of the courses they studied, were used for the
research. The graduates ranked business-related courses very high on the curriculum. Among
others, the paper recommends a strong collaboration between tourism education and industry
for mutual benefits.

Tourism is the fourth highest foreign exchange earner for Ghana, after minerals, cocoa and foreign remittances (Ministry of Tourism & the United Nations Development Programme, 2012). It contributed 6.7 % to the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and provided employment for 453, 352 people in 2009 (Ghana Tourist Board, 2010). Ghana has realised the importance of the tourism sector to economic development; that realization motivated the introduction of tourism education at the tertiary level (Akyeampong, 2008). As such, the concept of tourism studies was based on two main motives: a) To educate people to undertake teaching and research in tourism studies so as to add to the knowledge in that field. b) To produce high calibre personnel who would provide quality service as well as administrative or supervisory roles for tourism and hospitality facilities in the country. Lewis (2005) has stated that providing quality education and training to the people who work in the tourism industry could help to sustain the industry. The University of Cape Coast (UCC) was the first institution in the country to offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses in tourism studies in 1996 (Akyeampong, 2008). The objective was to prepare students for managerial and administrative positions in the tourism and hospitality industry as well as for faculty appointments. Cape Coast Polytechnic (CCP) started a Higher National Diploma (HND) programme in tourism education in 2000. This was to fulfil one of its mandates to provide skills for the emerging tourism and hospitality industries. The sectors include hotels, restaurants, airlines, car rental companies, tour and travel agency operators, travel and tourism administration as well as management of national parks and other protected sites (Owusu-Mintah, 2012). However, a decade after its introduction, it is uncertain that the tourism graduates produced by the Higher National Diploma (HND) programme have been adequately prepared for the needs of industry in the country. Whilst some tourism and hospitality industries readily employ people with tourism education and training certificates, it has been noted that most of these industries are reluctant to accept students for internship and further employment (Owusu-Mintah, 2012). Their reluctance stems from the fact that such students lack the practical skills and experience demanded by industry. There appears to be a considerable gap between what tourism education provides and the needs of the tourism industry (Amoah and Baum, 1997). Moreover, due to the fragmented and multi-faceted nature of tourism businesses, industry needs for training and education are divergent, hence, not easily identifiable (Mayaka and Akama, 2007). Nevertheless, designing a curriculum that prepares students for industry has become a major preoccupation for tourism curriculum designers (Morgan, 2004; Ring et al., 2009). Takoradi Polytechnic Journal of Technology TPoly J. Tech Vol.2 (1) 2014: 48-56
Effectiveness of Monitoring Systems for Controlling Project Cost in Ghana: A Case Study
of the Cape Coast Metropolis

S K Ansah, Cape Coast Polytechnic, Ghana

The objective of this study was to identify the most effective system for monitoring and
controlling construction project cost. Personal interviews were conducted among 15 purposively
selected building construction contractors within the Cape Coast Metropolis of the Central
Region in Ghana. Data analysis was qualitative and descriptive. It was observed that the
commonly used systems for monitoring and controlling project cost were cost-value
reconciliation, detailed spread sheet model and activity based ratio. Eighty percent (80 %) of the
respondents combined cost-value reconciliation (CVR) and the spread sheet model, while 20 %
used only the spread sheet model for project monitoring and control. However, the Earned Value
Analysis System (EVAS), which was the most effective system, was not used by any of the
construction firms studied.

Effective cost monitoring and control have received much attention in the construction industry due to excessive cost escalation and low profit margins of some contractors. According to Buertey et al. (2013), the success of every project is hinged on monitoring and control, during the executing phase of the project, to ensure that all key deliverables are met according to the project scope statement and quality standard. A Government construction client panel bench-marking study carried out in 1999 on the central government construction projects in the United Kingdom reported that three-quarters of the sixty-six projects studied exceeded 50 % of their contract price (BGCS, 1999). In Ghana, both public and private sector clients of the construction industry continue to complain about the industry's performance and its seeming inability to deliver projects on time, within budget and to the expected quality standards. Nuamah et al. (2013) opined that the level of construction in Ghana is generally poor, especially, in the public sector. Nicco-Annan (2006) carried out a survey of the construction of some office buildings in Accra, Ghana, and observed the following: * There were cost overruns of between 60 % and 180 %, not taking inflation into account. * There were time overruns of between twelve and twenty four months. * In a few cases, the buildings were still not usable because of some major shortcomings. Buertey et al. (2011) also asserted that about 95 % of projects executed in Ghana suffer from schedule delays. It should be noted that the size, complexity and nature of work undertaken can affect the general performance of a project (Cooke and Williams, 2004). They added that as projects grow in size and complexity, the ability to plan, monitor and control them becomes a key project management function. Mensah (2012) asserted that management practices have serious repercussions on the success of construction projects in Ghana. According to Pilcher (1994), the complex nature of the works undertaken notwithstanding, cost and time need to be effectively monitored and controlled, if anticipated profit margins are to be realised by the contractor and the project completed within budget for the client. The construction industry uses several monitoring systems to control project cost. The commonly used systems identified by the study included Activity Based Ratios, Variances, Earned Value Analysis, Cost–Value Reconciliation approach, and detailed Spread Sheet Model.