His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision to transform Ghana’s economy through industrialisation, thereby creating jobs for the teeming masses is steadily being realised as yet another project under his flagship One-District-One-Factory (1D1F) initiative nears completion.
Premier Foods Company Limited, a cassava processing factory at Akumadan-Afrancho in the Offinso North District of the Ashanti Region, is currently over 90% complete and poised for commissioning.
The Project Field Assistant, Mr Felix Kwaku Ampong, informed Hon. Mrs Gifty Ohene-Konadu, the National Coordinator and head of the 1D1F Secretariat during a site visit that the newly constructed factory will process cassava into industrial starch, flour and ethanol for local and international markets.
Akumadan-Afrancho township is well known for its agricultural activities. Its soil is conducive for growing a wide range of food crops including cassava, which grows in abundance in the area.
Mr Felix Kwaku Ampong informed Hon Gifty Ohene-Konadu that an outgrower scheme has been put together to provide adequate feedstock for the factory to ensure its sustainability. This has resulted in the training of 1,700 farmers on modern agronomical# practices and the provision of improved cassava varieties such as ‘Sika Bankye’, ‘Abrabopa’ and ‘Ampong’ to farmers under the scheme.
According to officials of Premier Foods Processing Company Limited, the factory at optimum capacity can process (10) tonnes of cassava a day; the equivalent to over 7 big Kia trucks.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Hon David Akwasi Asare, speaking on the facility assured Hon Gifty Ohene-Konadu of the government’s readiness to provide all the necessary infrastructure to ensure the effective running of the factory.
The DCE stated that the access road has already been graded in readiness for construction. The project has also benefitted from the installation of a power-plant and the connection of the factory to the national grid; together with the installation of telecommunication poles as part of government’s efforts to create the enabling environment for industries to thrive.
Progress of Work
The processing equipment and machinery, manufactured by AGROAFRICA, according to officials of the company, had been installed.
The factory site is well fenced to protect the administrative block and a processing plant.
The project is currently over 90% complete, with completion estimated to take place later this year. Management is optimistic that by the end of March it will be in a position to conduct a test run, after which full operations will commence if successful.
The project is set to engage over 2000 people across the value chain.
1D1F Incentives- Interest Waiver
In the decision of government to cushion the private sector, cabinet has approved a policy which will provide a ten per cent interest rate subsidy for companies that operate under the One District, One Factory Initiative (1D1F) programme.
The move forms part of strategies under the government’s industrialisation agenda to add value to the country’s natural resources.
The government has partnered GCB Bank, ADB and Ecobank for the interest rate subsidy programme.
With the new policy assuming interest rate is pegged at 20 per cent, government will pay ten per cent for companies operating under the 1D1F and needed finance to fund their business.