GHANA – Ghana is forging ahead with its ambitious target of attaining self-sufficiency in rice production with the launch of new processing plant in the Western-North Region.
The newly built GH¢6.7 million (US$1.1m) Sefwi Akontombra rice processing factory has the capacity to produce between 1.5 and 2.8 tonnes of processed rice per hour.
According to official reports from the Presidency of Ghana, the state-of-the-art facility features modern parboiling, milling and packaging plants.
It also has a standby generator plant, a mechanised borehole to supply the facility with water, fully furnished office accommodation for staff, a conference room, laboratory and a canteen/kitchen.
The commissioning of the plant comes barely a month after the country opened the US$1.2m Savelugu rice processing factory.
Both Sefwi Akontombra and Savelugu rice processing factories were constructed under the 1-District-1-Factory, Common User Facility (CUF), which is an agro-industrial factory established by the Rural Enterprises Programme (REP) under the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
With funding from the African Development Bank, REP has established 3 more of these CUFs nationwide to include Nkran Nkwanta rice factory in the Dormaa West District of the Bono Region; Dompim oil palm processing factory in the Tarkwa Nsueam Municipality of the Western Region; and Nsuta maize processing plant in the Sekyere Central District of the Ashanti Region.
“The CUFs will be managed by top-notched management professionals and technicians who will be recruited competitively by the Ministry of Trade and Industry through REP to ensure that profitability and growth of the factory,” highlights the statement.
The Sefwi Akontombra CUF is expected to be owned by farmer-based organisations and other value chain actors within the selected commodities.
Once it commences operations, the factory will employ about 118 people including management professionals, factory floor workers and plantation workers who will work on a nucleus rice farm.
In addition, over 600 farmers from Sefwi Akontombra District and neighbouring communities will be directly engaged to supply paddy rice for processing.
The newly built rice processing facility are aimed to drive Ghana’s targets of producing 1.6 million metric tonnes of milled rice by 2023, an increase from the current 570,000 MT, against a local demand of about 1.58 MMT.
Other than boosting rice processing, the West African country is also adding value to the highly perishable tomato crop.
Recently, the government partnered with Weddi Africa Limited, to established a US$16 million tomato processing factory in Domfete, Bono Region.
The facility will have a processing capacity of 40,000 metric tonnes of fresh tomatoes per annum, supported by a 500 metric ton cold room facility to store fresh tomato fruits.