Two rice processing Common User Facilities (CUF) have been completed, in Bokaso in the Sefwi Akontombra District and Nkran Nkwanta in the Dormaa West District, with a capacity to produce between 1.5 and 2.8 tonnes of processed rice per hour.
Established by the Rural Enterprises Programme (REP) of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, with funding from the African Development Bank, the two factories form part of 5 CUFs being established nationwide as part of the Government of Ghana’s 1D1F initiative.
The two factories were handed over to the Rural Enterprises Programme (REP) at a short ceremony held on Wednesday and Thursday, 5th & 6th May 2021.
The Sefwi Akontombra handing over ceremony was attended by the MP for the area, Alex Djornobouah Tetteh, National Director of REP, Kwasi Attah-Antwi, District Chief Executive, Amoah Yawson, chiefs from the Sefwi Akontombra districts and representatives of farmer groups.
Following the final inspection and handing of the keys to him, the National Director of REP, Kwasi Attah-Antwi, explained that the CUF initiative constitutes the other aspect of the 1D1F policy where the Government itself promotes the establishment of factories, instead of the private sector. Notwithstanding, Mr Attah-Antwi explained that the Akontombra Rice CUF factory, when commissioned will be owned and managed by the rice farmers and farmer groups in and around Sefwi Akontombra.
He praised President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo Addo for the introduction of the 1D1F policy and the Industrial Transformation Agenda and explained the leading role played by the Hon. Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, in realigning REP to play a key role in the implementation of the 1D1F policy. He also pointed to the instrumental role played by Mr Kyerematen in directing for the siting of the factory in Sefwi Akontombra, following persistent lobbying and total commitment from the Sefwi Akontombra MP.
He explained that the people of Sefwi Akontombra should count themselves lucky that out of the 161 districts in which REP was being implemented, the District was selected as one of the only five to benefit from the CUF factory initiative.
He charged the chiefs to release lands to the farmers to cultivate enough rice all year round to feed the factory and assured them that the Government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry will do all it can to ensure that the facility produces to its full capacity.
He also expressed gratitude to the African Development Bank for funding the establishment of the factory.
MP for Sefwi Akontombra, Alex D. Tetteh, revealed that a total of 20,000 farmers would benefit from the distribution of fertilizers from the Ministry of Agriculture, as part of measures to enhance the cultivation of rice that would feed the facility when fully operational. He explained that 1000 bags of fertilizers had already been received and would be distributed to the farmers as soon as possible.
He used the platform to solicit for cooperation from the Chiefs and farmer groups to work collectively to make the Sefwi Akontombra Rice CUF, one of the best in the country when commissioned.
Speaking for and on behalf of the people, Nana Kweku Ebie II, Chief of the Akontombra Traditional Council, expressed gratitude to the NPP government for the factory. He pledged his support to allocate lands for the cultivation of rice that would be needed for mass production.