GHANA – The government of Ghana has approved the disbursement of US$200,000 for the establishment a plantain processing plant in Ashanti region, South of Ghana.

The facility to be built under the government’s One District, One Factory (1D1F) initiative will process plantain into flour and other by-products for local consumption and export.

Through this it will provide a ready market for plantain farmers, in turn reducing reduce post-harvest losses which had been a major challenge in the area, reports Ghana News Agency.

Ghana is a major producer of plantain and currently exports the product to the neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Togo.

The factory will also help create jobs and open up the district for further investments, which is one of the main objectives of the IDIF initiative.

Currently 232 projects are ongoing under the program of which 168 are new factories and 64 existing ones that will receive capital injection for development.

As an incentive the government has mobilised the local banks to provide GHc2.3 billion (US$35.2m) liquidity support. Consequently, it has also subsidized the interest rate of the banks with GHc205 million (US$395.8m) duty exemption.

In other related news, work is progressing steadily on the Cassava Processing Factory under construction in Volta region.

The factory, which is a partnership between the Keta Municipal Assembly and the investing company, Hormeku Engineers and Planners (HoPE) Ltd, would be the first of the government’s flagship, 1D1F project for the Municipality.

The plant is 40 per cent complete and set to have processing capacity of about 35 tonnes of fresh cassava per day, producing industrial cassava flour, cassava flour, dried cassava chips, ethanol, gari, atieke, cassava dough and animal feed.

The country will also benefit from a second cassava processing factory to be developed by a Chinese Entrepreneur; Mr Sun Qiang who is seeking to invest US$10 million in the project.

The facility which is expected to be completed in the early part of next year will have a processing capacity of 10,000 tonnes of ethanol per year.

Mr Qiang revealed that, he had acquired 5,000 acres of land in separate communities to cultivate cassava in order to stock the factory with raw material.

The plantation has offered job opportunities for 500 farmers and the factory once operational will create employment for over 700 youth.

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