President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday commissioned the Sekyere Maize Processing Factory located in Nsuta Kwagye in the Sekyere Central District of the Ashanti Region.
The construction of the factory, which is under the 1D1F programme, began in January 2020 and was completed and handed over in June 2022 at a cost of some GH¢6.7 million. It has state-of-the-art maize processing equipment, with the capacity to process 4 to 5 tonnes of dry maize and 5 tonnes of maize grits per day.
The factory is under 1D1F Common User Facility (CUF), a farmer-owned agro-industrial processing facility established with seed funding from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) under the Rural Enterprises Programme (REP).
The CUF 1D1F concept was conceived in 2017 following a policy direction by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to realign the Rural Enterprises Programme to be consistent with the Government of Ghana’s Industrial Transformation Agenda being implemented by the Trade Ministry.
The model seeks to enhance the ability of farmers and other agricultural value chain actors, with little or no financial capacity to establish their own common user processing facilities to process their farm products.
In response to this constraint, the Trade Ministry sought funding from African Development Bank (AfDB) to introduce this new concept of establishing CUFs in five Districts including the Sekyere Maize Processing facility. These CUFs have been established in selected areas where farmers are engaged in the same commodity value chains but lack the facilities to process the outputs from their farming operations.
The CUF 1D1F is owned by a group of maize farmers and other stakeholders with the following shareholding structure: 70% by Sekyere Central Union of Maize Producers Associations (Mother Association of all Maize Farmer Based Organisations in the Sekyere Central District of Ashanti); 20% by Ministry of Trade and Industry; and 10% by Traditional Council.
The Sekyere Central Union of Maize Producers Associations comprises 18 individual FBOs. The total membership of the 18 individual FBOs is about 600 farmers.
The Sekyere factory is expected to directly employ some 118. In addition, over 600 farmers from the Associations will be directly engaged as contract suppliers who will supply maize to the factory.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD