$2 million maize processing factory has been inaugurated in Tumu in Upper West Region.
Kedan Limited is expected to boost the economy of the Sissala East Municipality and the neighbourhood by injecting capital into agribusiness and then employing a chunk of youth into the industry.
The company comprises a processing plant, a warehouse and an administrative block all housed on a one-acre plot on the outskirts of town, and a 200-acre maize farm.
It is a 7,000 metric tonnes plant which can process up to 30 tonnes (600 pieces of 50kg bags) of maize per day into maize grates, maize floor, fortified maize meal, and maize bran for poultry and other animal feed.
The plant and the warehouse were co-funded in equal terms by Kedan Limited and the West Africa Food Markets (WAFM) programme – which is funded by UKAID and implemented by Palladium Group.
At the inauguration ceremony in Tumu last Friday, the Managing Director of the company, Eric Dankua Kissi, said the company would hopefully begin “an agribusiness hub that would create jobs and serve as a catalyst for economic growth for food and agricultural businesses in surrounding communities, districts, regions, Ghana and other neighbouring countries”.
He said Kedan Limited’s business model provides ready employment to smallholder farmers and their families, and ensured they made profit as well.
He said the project was also founded on the belief that “farmers have land and are willing to till them, but over 95 per cent of these farmers lack the financial and technological resources to cultivate them.
“The Kedan philosophy thus is to let farmers see and do farming as a business so they can more than double their yields and profits through effective use of viable and profitable agricultural technologies,” he added.
Kedan Limited had started as maize farming and trading business about four years earlier, deploying energies towards supporting farmers with relevant inputs. It retrieves its investment in crops and buys whatever remaining quantity the farmers were willing to sell.
Over the years, it has collaborated with the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) now Northern Development Authority (NDA) and Ghana Commercial Agric Project(GCAP) to implement various projects between 2010 and 2015.
Although privately owned, Mr Kissi said such support would sustain the business to remain competitive despite being a wholely-Ghanaian business concern.
The deputy minister For Upper West Region, MR Amidu Chinia, said the company fell within the government’s primary support area for industries in order increase employment.
He pledged government’s support for the company to ensure t remained a viable business across the years.
The paramount chief of Tumu Traditional Area, Kuoro Babini Kanton VI, it was significant that even before government’s one-district one-factory policy took shape, Tumu had produced a viable business from a private man’s effort.
He encouraged the management to apply professional standards to the administration of the company to sustain production and make it a long-term venture.
Credit: graphic online
(by Michael Quaye)