GHANA – Ghana has established a new plant, Aspuna Flour Mill and Processing Factory in Duwasu, Kombo, West Coast region that will process cassava into flour and starch, reported a Ghana Newspaper, Foroyaa.

While the cassava flour produced will be sold in the local market and surplus exported, the starch will be exported to attract more customers outside Ghana.

According to the country Director of the Company Mr. Amadou Jah, it cost US$423,710 to outfit the mill, that is installation and processing cassava into flour and starch.

The factory is equipped with machines able to produce 500kg of flour and starch per hour, and will employ 60 people with plans to scale the number depending on improved capacities.

‘‘This reason why I decided to spend this huge amount of money to establish such a project, is to assist young people to stay and work for their country,’’ said Amadou.

‘‘In the Gambia, we need value chain in order to bring development and this should start with the farmers, who are the backbone of the country’s economy.

I want to introduce cassava as another cash crop in the country,” he said.

“The reason why this project is established in this area is to reach the farmers and for them to understand that it is meant for them to process the cassava they grow.”

He added that given climate change, cassava was preferable for Gambia.

This comes when Gambia is validating cassava development strategy to boost production and transformation of entire cassava value-chain that in the long run seeks to enhance economic growth.

A global cassava development strategy was formulated and endorsed in the year 2000 to promote sustainable cassava sector development with specific implications for food security, income generation and poverty reduction.

2002 data from FAO indicates that on average Gambians consumption levels is about 100kg per person per annum for cassava.

Nigeria, the world’s largest producer of cassava, has embarked on agricultural diversification with concerns rising to encourage cassava starch production by banning importation of corn starch into the country.

GMC Universal Ghana Limited recently secured US$25 million funding from Cosmos International of India for the manufacture and installation of a starch processing plant at Nkwanta South in the Volta Region.

The project was expected to produce 200 tons of starch daily and scheduled for completion within 12 months.