The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Kintampo South, in the Bono East region, Mr Opoku Nyame, has commissioned a ginger factory at Krabonso, under the One District One Factory (1D1F) policy.It is estimated the factory would create 300 direct and indirect jobs.
The project is being co-funded by the European Union, with counterpart funding from 4 implementing partners namely; the Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA), National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG), Centre of Posterity Interest Organisation (COPIO) and Abrono Organic Farming Project (ABOFAP).
The ginger factory comprises a ginger washing facility, a ginger processing centre, a warehouse, holding room, a conference facility and other ancillary facilities.
The establishment of the ginger factory at Krabonso is aimed at leveraging on the ginger value chain within the community to provide employment, especially for the youth and women in agriculture.100 acres of ginger farm has already been cultivated to feed the factory in the interim.
The DCE urged members of the community to take advantage of the factory and enter into commercial production of ginger to feed the factory, as the government is committed to providing the necessary assistance for the smooth operation of the facility.
He charged the chiefs and indigenes of the community to provide the needed support to the facility so that the President’s vision of industrialisation, through planting for food and export would be achieved.
He commended the Member of Parliament of Kintampo South, Mr Alexander Gyan, who initiated the project.
Mr. Isaac Amofa, the Project Coordinator, noted that the PRODESOP project is a Social Protection Project aimed at leveraging on the ginger value chain in both Kintampo North Municipality and Kintampo South District, to provide employment for the very poor within the communities especially women, youth and PWDs to enable them access financial freedom.
The project, he noted, is expected to provide employment for beneficiaries through skills development, the provision of basic infrastructure, inputs for commercial production, value addition processes and access to market.
Nana Adjei, NifaHene of Krabonso, thanked the government and the funding agencies for bringing such a laudable project to the community and promised the community will contribute its quota to make the project a success and to the end address the challenges of youth unemployment within the community and other adjourning communities.
In another development, the Techiman North Member of Parliament, Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, says the poor prices of cashew in the country would have to be addressed as soon as possible, to boost farmers’ interest in cultivating the crop.
Addressing the media recently, she said the current low prices at which farmers sell their cashew is not motivating them enough, to the extent that some farmers are compelled to leave the cashew on the farm to rot.According to her, like cocoa, cashew is also a cash crop that can fetch the country huge sums of revenue when the sector is properly enhanced.
It also provides job opportunities to the people from which they earn their income. As such, the attention that is given to the cocoa sector would also have to be extended to the cashew sector.
She admitted that, though in the last 10 years cashew development has gone up in the country, pricing remains a difficult task, adding that unlike cocoa, there is no way cashew farmers will be able to know how much their crop would be sold for, “and so, it gets to a point where a kilo of cashew goes for one Ghana Cedi, and what the farmer does is to leave the cashew in the farms to rot.
“The issue of pricing is still a problem because till today, there is no general pricing or proper pricing of cashew in the country, hence there is always a fight between the cashew farmers, cashew buyers, cashew exporters and cashew processors”, she said, and added that: “We think the time has come for government to be strong on pricing of cashew like it does for cocoa, because they are all tree crops and are all exportable,”.
The Techiman MP again indicated that it is laudable that the government has gone a step further to ensure the passage of the Tree Crop Regulatory Act, 2019 (Act1010) which mandates the government to create a board for tree crops, including cashew, and to have them in all the regions. But they are not present yet.
She asked the government to create an enabling environment for the private sector to invest in the cashew industry, particularly with value addition, adding that the current practice of exporting the raw cashew is not generating enough returns, compared to when the country adds value to it.
Madam Ofosu-Adjare advised the government to learn some best practices from the largest cashew producer in Africa, La Cote d’Ivoire, which provides incentives for processing cashew in the country, whereas raw exporters of the produce are made to pay some tax.
She appealed to the government to make the Tree Crops Development Authority available in all the regions to regulate the activities of cashew farmers, help institute measures to add value to the cashew, as well as work on better pricing for the commodity.