President Akufo-Addo’s long-term vision of industrialising Ghana’s economy, by adding value to the abundant raw materials in the country through a private sector-led process, keeps receiving support as more individuals are now venturing into the establishment of agro-processing factories across the country.
In effect, hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs would be created along the production and marketing chain while rural urban migration could become a thing of the past as people, especially the youth, would find work to do in their localities.
Weddi Africa, an indigenous company, is set to open a tomato processing factory and agro-farms at Jinijini, in the Berekum West District of the Bono Region.
Construction works started in May 2019 under the government’s One-District, One-Factory(1D1F) policy, with the construction of the factory and ancillary buildings completed in December last year.
Agric Minister’s visit
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, one of his deputies, George Oduro Boahen, who is also the MP for New Edubiase, and some senior officials of the ministry have visited the factory site to interact with management of the facility and gather first-hand information about the completion and operationalisation of the project.
The US$11 million project hopes to employ 350 factory workers, 2,500 out-growers and in-growers.
A consultant to the project, Nana Kwame Fosu-Boateng, appealed to the Minister to enroll their out-grower farmers in the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
He assured the Minister and his entourage that the processing plants have been shipped in China and are expected to arrive in May 2020, with installation works expected to be completed within two months to pave the way for test production and subsequent full production in August this year.
Mr Fosu-Boateng said the factory, when completed, would have two production lines with the capacity to process 40,000 metric tons of fresh tomatoes every year.
He said the factory would source its raw materials from its own nucleus farm with capacity to cultivate over 1,400 acres per year, out-grower farmers with membership of 2,000 farmers as well as in-grower farms with plans to absorb over 100 youth in tomato cultivation.
As part of its operations, management has set up a community radio in the area to educate farmers about the modern methods of farming, among others, while tomato seedlings incubator, research centre, model farm with capacity to transplant three million seedlings every 21days to out-grower farmers will also be established later this year.
The Chief Executive of the Meddi Africa, Nana Yaw Boahen, the Managing Director, Kwame Boahen, and other top officials of the company took the Minister round the facility.
Another project being executed under the One-District, One Factory initiative, which was visited by the Agric Minister, is the a poultry processing factory at Tanoso, near Sunyani.
The project, which would have the capacity to process 6,000 birds per hour upon completion, is being established by Tyco City Investment Limited at the estimated cost of $16 million.
When completed, it would provide ready market for the several hundreds of poultry farmers dotted around the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions and provide direct employment to some 500 people and thousands indirectly.
The Minister said he was impressed about the progress of work so far, and assured the CEO of Tyco City Investment Limited, Nana Kwame Aning, of government commitment to seeing to the successful completion of the project.
The Minister also inspected work on a pre-fabricated warehouse in Sunyani, which is being executed by the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives under the government’s One-District, One-Warehouse policy intended to store enough food for use in future and reduce post-harvest loses.