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Heritage Month: Women vendors in Etor business in Sunyani appeal for modernized Ghanaian cooking stoves  

Heritage Month: Women vendors in Etor business in Sunyani appeal for modernized Ghanaian cooking stoves  

Women vendors in Etor (mashed cocoyam, yam, or plantain), a locally prepared Ghanaian dish in the Sunyani Municipality have appealed for modernized Ghanaian-made cooking stoves to sustain them in business.

During a Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani as the nation observes the Heritage Month, the women vendors, mostly within their 50s were noticed exposed to naked fires, as they prepared the dish for sale, and appealed for modernized stoves that could absorb sunlight and fire.

Some of them said they had been in the business for more than decades, saying, because they exposed themselves to the open fires for hours, they were experiencing serious health complications including bad sight, and body pains.

“However, because I don’t have any other option, I have to stay on with the business because that is what I depend on to fend for myself and family,” Nana Yaa Kumi-Akyeaw, a vendor at the Sunyani Main garage told the GNA.

Nana Kumi-Akyeaw, a native of Sunyani, said she was a single mother of three children and had been in the Etor business for more than 33 years now.

“I experienced dizziness and unusual heartbeat sometimes, but I can’t leave the business,” she stated and appealed for support.

Another Vendor, Monica Osei, said though the business looked lucrative, vendors also had to spend more on their health every month because the local stoves they used to prepare the diet were exposed to sunlight as well.

“Sometimes the heat is too much to bear. We will, therefore, be grateful if the government can provide us with modern and localized cooking stoves to support our businesses,” she stated.

Other vendors noticed around the Sunyani Victoria Park and the Sunyani Night Market preparing the diet, declined to speak to the media, as some customers were sighted, waiting patiently to buy.


Nana Kumi-Akyeaw took the GNA through its preparation and added her customers who used to buy roasted cocoyam and yam had now developed appetite for the dish.


Vendors either used roasted yam, plantain or ripped plantain or cocoyam for the preparation of the dish after roasting the stuff on fire.

Most of the vendors used traditionally made Ghanaian stoves with charcoal to roast and ensure the stuffs were well cooked.

Thereafter, they grind the cooked stuff in a locally made grinding bowl made of clay, add some ingredients including fresh pepper, ginger, and onions, mixed with palm oil.

Depending on customer preference and demand, the vendors either spiced the dish with roasted or grinded groundnuts, salted fish, a boiled egg, and pea.

Nana Kumi-Akyeaw said through the Etor business, she had been able to cater for the education of her three children to the tertiary level.

She said because of the way and manner she spiced the diet, her customers were not only at the garage, but walked distances to either buy in take-away bowls or eat around.

The dish, she added, was sold between GHC15 and GHC20 depending on the type and ingredients, saying many of her customers opt for the ones prepared with either roasted yam or cocoyam.

However, some of the customers also preferred a mixture of yam and ripped plantain to whet their appetite, Nana Kumi-Akyeaw added.

She said though the demand for the diet was high, her daily profit kept decreasing for some time now because of the increase in the price of charcoal and the food stuff in the market.

“Scarcity of cocoyam is also slowing down the business,” she stated, indicating that the increase in the price of palm oil, groundnuts, tubers of yam, and charcoal and vegetables had affected the business now.

“Most of my customers now complain about the quantity of the dish when they buy and that is also affecting my daily sales,” she added.

Nutritional value

Checks by the GNA reveal the carbohydrate content in yam and cocoyam are in preventing diseases, facilitate easy digestion, prevent blood clots, and provide natural fiber needed in the body system.

Additionally, vegetables are also good for strong teeth and good eyesight and strong bones, reduce the risk of heart and kidney diseases, and good for managing cancers, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Further checks showed oil palm is also good for the skin and eyes, absorbs nutrients to produce important hormones in the body, while eggs also keep body cells healthy, facilitate healing of body wounds, and build body immunity against diseases.

Ms Joyce Odei, a Registered Community Health Nurse, says the locally prepared diet has a high nutritional content, good for building the body’s immunity against diseases.

She advised Ghanaians to opt for and consume the diet, particularly at lunchtime to improve their body immunity.

In an interview, she said ingredients used for the preparation of the local diet had the “four-star elements” required in every meal.

“Etor is a four-star diet because ingredients in the dish have the combination of carbohydrate, protein, vegetables, fats, fruit and red oil,” she stated, and recommended the dish as a lunch for all, especially pregnant women, and people of chronic diseases.

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Source: GNA

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