Business

Trade Minister inspects work on $4m maize processing factory in Sekyere Central

A $4 million maize processing factory at Nsuta in the Sekyere Central District of the Ashanti Region is scheduled to commence operation by November this year.

The factory falls under the Common User-processing Facility, pillar of government’s One District-One Factory (1D1F) policy.

Under this pillar, farmer groups are given financial support by the government to set up and manage a factory in their area.

Currently, out of the 232 factories, which are at various stages of completion spread across the country, five were common user-processing facilities.

Inspecting work on the factory yesterday, Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, said the factory would be inaugurated by October 30 and handed over to the maize farmers group.

He explained that the common user-processing facilities pillar was an innovative move to enable farmers realise maximum benefits for their produce.

He said the farmers were expected to supply the factory with raw materials and run the factory as their business.

“The One-District One-Factory initiative is a private sector-led programme. However, with areas where the private sector is yet to come, we developed the common user-processing facilities pillar to bring farmer groups together to own their factory and add value to their produce,” he stated.

The minister said the factory would generate employment opportunities for the teeming youths in the Sekyere Central District and lead to an improved lives for the farmers.

He charged the district assembly to expedite processes with the project contractor to address bottlenecks which could delay the project’s completion.

Aside the consumer user-processing facilities, Mr Kyerematen said 56 small-scale processing facilities have been designated for youth groups who would be trained to manage the facilities.

This, according to the minister, was to ensure that the youth were not left out of the 1D1F programme.

He said in communities where there may be an abundance of some agriculture commodities, smaller processing plants would be established to help reduce post-harvest losses.

Project Architect and Manager, Tony Asare, said installation of equipment and machinery would commence in about three weeks.

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