Asutifi Processing and Services Centre (APSC) initiative aimed at adding value to the production of a number of agricultural produce within the two Asutifi districts has been inaugurated.
The US$ 694, 897.00 project, a joint Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) will initially process chilli pepper and ginger with plans to include maize and soybeans in subsequent years.
The APSC project will help reduce post-harvest losses in the targeted crops, which currently stands between 15 per cent and 26 per cent in the Asutifi area.
It will also help improve earnings of farmers through the value addition to their produce.
The initiative formed part of NGGL’s effort to support farmers’ productivity in the Asutifi District.
The centre is expected to produce at least 65 tons of chili pepper and 80 tons of ginger annually, generating a turnover of GH¢500,000 per annum by the third year of operation.
Speaking at the commissioning Mr. Joep Coenen, General Manager, Newmont, Ahafo Mines indicated that the initiative formed part of NGGL’s effort to support farmers’ productivity in the Asutifi District.
“Over 80 farmer base organisations made up of at least 1000 farmers will benefit from the processing of their produce from the centre, with 70 per cent of the FBO being women and the youth,” he said.
Communities within the Asutifi North and South districts that will provide produce for the centre are Kenyasi No.1 and 2 Ntotroso, Gyedu, Wamana-hinso, Nkasiem and Nkrankrom.
Among the several objectives of the project is to provide the avenue for improved earnings of farmers within the project catchment area with added impacts of employment generation, establishing a one stop centralised processing and service centre.
The processing equipment alongside other accessories will serve as multiple purpose hammers milling plant that can process a whole range of dry produce in the near future.
Nana Ama Bonsu, a representative of the FBO thanked Newmont and GIZ for the project and training program-mes organised for farmers to equip them on their farming business.
She assured that the centre would be properly maintained to ensure its longevity for the benefit of all.
A nine member board was also inaugurated for the running of the centre.
From Daniel Dzirasah,Kenyasi