The Ayensu Starch Factory has been revamped through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) Scheme at Bawjiase in the Central Region.
The factory which was operating with a capacity of 22,000 metric tonnes of cassava starch per annum was established as part of the President’s Special Initiatives (PSI) under former President John Agyekum Kufuor, but stalled operations in 2006.
Under the partnership with Tiberias Ghana Limited, government owns 30 per cent shares of the project and with staff strength of 60 it is set to engage 2,500 farmers, under the Corporate Village Enterprises (COVEs), to cultivate 5,000 acres of cassava crop which represents two acres per farmer.
Management already has 1,000 farmers to supply the factory with fresh roots which would be processed within a maximum of 36 hours.
Re-inaugurating the factory, Hannah Serwaa Tetteh, Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is acting as Minister of Trade and Industry said, the project which had been recapitalised would renew equipment and improve its waste management processes.
Madam Tetteh said, that management must enter into arrangements with surrounding districts to produce additional cassava to meet demands of the factory.
She added that, without that it would be difficult to bring back the enthusiasm of cassava cultivation on the part of farmers based on challenges faced by the factory in the past with regards to payment to farmers.
She urged the chiefs of the area to collaborate with the prospective farmers who call on them to release their lands for cultivation to boost economic potentials of the area.
“We hope that the initiative would not only meet the demands of the breweries who are first on the supply chain but industrial establishments in Ghana which also use starch in its production,”she said.
She said that continuous productions of the factory would boost investment and industrialisation in Ghana and urged management to work with workers of the company by making them understand the challenges the factory faces in the future.
The Director of Research, Ayensu Starch Factory, Dr. Cui Jun said, the company was pleased to be part of efforts to revamp the factory to its former glory.
Dr. Jun said that the desire of her firm to invest in the project was due to the firm belief in the President’s vision of revamping dying companies and to create employment for Ghanaians and boost agriculture with 1,000 farmers who were already in the supply books of the company.
She said that the investment would enhance operational capacity of the factory and modernise facilities.
She added that local and foreign staff would ensure the transfer of skills and knowledge which would make the factory viable and serve its market in Ghana and the world.
“We are very positive about the prospects of this factory and are committed to ensuring that, it would duly serve its purpose by making life better for the people of the area and the country as a whole,” she said.
By Emelia Enyonam Kuleke