Maize farmers in Tumu in the Sissala East District of Upper West Region, will now have a sigh of relief following the commissioning of 30 metric tons maize processing factory built by KEDAN Agribusiness Solutions.
The Sissala area is noted for the production of high premium quality maize in Ghana, according to figures from Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) Monitoring and Evaluation.
KEDAN collaboration with West Africa Food Market (WAFM) intended to establish a factory with milling capacity of 15 metric tons per day, but KEDAN later injected additional funds to double the daily processing capacity to 30 metric tons after making huge profit.
With the inauguration of the factory, farmers around the surrounding area are now assured of ready market for more than 7000 metric tons of their produce every year.
“This translates into injecting GH¢10,516,666.67 into the pockets of farmers and local communities,” Mr Eric Dankwa Kissi, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of KEDAN Agribusiness Solutions when the factory was commissioned.
He was of the view that the factory would help eliminate the problem of middlemen who often cheat producers by dictating prices of the produce to poor farmers.
Maize growers would also be shielded from intermediaries Mr Kissi described as criminals who run away with farm produce under the cover of selling on behalf of the farmers at higher prices in major market centres.
He said those activities aggravated the poverty situation of many poor farmers who fall victims to the ploy.
“The factory in no doubt is going to serve as a major sustainable and reliable market for maize produce of our farmers, serve as employment creation avenue for the teaming unemployed youth, source of diverse value added maize products for industrial as well as domestic consumption and addressing malnutrition challenges,” he said.
The factory would also serve as a practical learning centre for basic, second and tertiary institutions, particularly, in the three regions of the north.
Mr Kissi was full of excitement for the support received from partners including Kuoro Richard Babini Kanton IV and landlords of Tumu for establishing the factory.
He appealed to farmers to take advantage of the ready market to increase production and make more income to support their families.
Mr Amidu Chinnia Issahaku, the Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, commended KEDAN and partners for the factory, which he said matched government’s “One-District-One-Factory” (1D1F) policy initiative.
He said government would continue to create enabling environment for private sector growth for the creation of more jobs for the teeming unemployed youth.
Mr Charles Nornoo, the Project Coordinator of the Ghana Commercial Agricultural Project (GCAP), in a speech read on his behalf said KEDAN was a clear testimony to GCAP’s success, acting as a change agent.
He also appealed to the company to explore other opportunities for collaborations.
He urged KEDAN management to use basic management tools and continuously work to improve their operations and methods.