The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has commissioned a GH¢6.7 million rice processing Common User Facility (CUF) factory in Bokaso in the Sefwi Akontombra District of the Western North Region.
The Sefwi Akontombra CUF is a state-of-the-art rice facility, with the capacity to produce between 1.5 and 2.8 tonnes of processed rice per hour. The processing plants installed at the factory include modern milling and packaging plants.
It has a standby generator plant and a mechanized borehole to supply the facility with water. It also has a fully furnished office accommodation for staff, a conference room, laboratory and a canteen/kitchen.
The Sefwi Akontombra Rice Factory was established by the Rural Enterprises Programme (REP), under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, with funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB). It forms part of the general realignment of REP, with funding from AfDB and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to support the Government’s industrialization agenda including the 1D1F initiative. Under these general realignment initiatives, IFAD and AfDB is support REP to establish the five (5) CUFs, 58 ENABLE Youth factories, and 5 Technology Solution Centres (TSCs).
The President was received at the CUF site by the Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Michael Okyere Baafi; National Director for REP, Kwasi Attah-Antwi and staff of both REP PCMU, MOTI, and the Sefwi Wiawso Business Resource Centre.
Mr. Okyere Baafi told President Akufo-Addo, the factory would employ about 118 people including management professionals, factory floor workers, and plantation workers who will work on a nucleus rice farm.
In addition, over 600 farmers from Sefwi Akontombra District and neighbouring communities will be directly engaged to supply paddy rice for processing.
He indicated to the President that the CUF model seeks to enhance the ability of farmers and other agricultural value chain actors, with low or no financial wherewithal, to own individual or group processing facilities, in line with the 1D1F initiative which is being implemented by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The 1D1F CUF factories are located in Savelugu (rice processing; Nkran Nkwanta in the Dormaa West District of the Bono Region (rice processing); Akontombra in the Sefwi Akontombra District of the Western North Region (rice processing); Dompim in the Tarkwa Nsueam Municipality of the Western Region (Oil Palm processing); and in Nsuta in the Sekyere Central District of the Ashanti Region (Maize processing).
The Sefwi Akontombra CUF is expected to be owned by Sefwi Akontombra Union of Rice Farmers Associations, an umbrella association of Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs) in that catchment area as well as other value chain actors within the selected communities.
The factory will be managed by experienced management and technical professionals who will be recruited through a competitive process under the supervision of the Rural Enterprises Programme and the Business Resource Center (BRC) located at Sefwi Wiawso. In addition, a Board of Directors will be established by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to provide strategic direction to the management of the factory with representations from the Farmers Union, Ministry of Trade and Industry, District Assembly, and traditional authorities. The Board will also have a legal practitioner and an experienced Individual with Finance and Accounting background.