All other things being equal, Amantin Agro-Processing Company Limited, a cassava processing factory at Amantin in the Atebubu-Amantin Municipality of the Bono East Region is scheduled to commence operation in January 2020.
The cassava company, with production capacity of 300 metric tonnes per day, will produce cassava starch and ethanol. A visit to the site revealed that construction of the physical structure is complete, while engineers were briskly fixing all the requisite industrial equipment to ensure it starts business on time.
In an interview, an Official of the soon-to-start Company, Kwaku Ohene Menya, said Amantin Agro-Processing Company will supply products to Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited as well as Europe and Chinese markets. He noted that the company is expected to create 20,000 direct and indirect jobs, adding that about 70,000 cassava out-growers are also expected to feed the factory with raw material. The company is a product of the government’s industrialisation initiative ‘One District, One Factory’ (1D1F).
The establishment of the ago-processing factory is obviously going to stimulate cassava cultivation within that enclave. Farmers in the Atebubu-Amantin Municipality and surrounding communities are well-known for producing maize, cowpea, rice, yam, mango and cashew among other crops.
Amantin Agro-Processing Company Limited is among eleven cassava processing factories in the country which stand to benefit from the Ghana Cassava Industrialisation Partnership Project (GCIPP). The project-estimated at US$1,250,073 is being implemented by a consortium of seven partners to mobilise and train 110,000 smallholder farmers to enter into contract farming to meet the demand pool of the processing companies.
The three-year project (December 2018 to January 2021) targets farmers in these areas: Northern, Ashanti, Volta, Eastern and previous Brong Ahafo Regions. Amantin Agro-Processing and the ten others with annual raw material requirement of over 600,000mt have been identified and their needs assessment completed to allow for an efficient integration of the project to link them [factories] to the farmers and other allied services.
GCIPP-an initiative of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and partners is focused on the production section of cassava value chain to enable farmers produce the right varieties, volumes, right quality and at a competitive price. The farmers are expected to cultivate 110,000 hectares of cassava farm, increase yield from the current 12tons/hac to 24tons/hac and produce at least 1.2million tons of fresh cassava annually. This is projected to generate revenue of about US$59 million annually of which at least 50% will go to the farmers.
The cassava consortium implementing partners are: Agri-Impact Consult; Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI); Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-Crop Research Institute, Food Research Institute; The Ghana Industrial Cassava Stakeholders Platform; Josma Agro Company; Ohumpong Agro Investment.
During a monitoring visit by the consortium at the Amantin Agro-Processing Company Limited, West Africa Regional Head-AGRA, Foster Kwame Boateng, said the consortium model for the project is to look at how best to support smallholder farmers to be competitive in the agribusiness industry. He said AGRA will leverage available resources to empower smallholder farmers to produce the required raw material to sustain the operations of the processing factories.
At the end of the three-year project, a total of 270mt of improved seeds of focus crops were expected to have been produced for the 110,000 farmers by enterprises supported by AGRA. Through the implementation, it is estimated that AGRA will leverage US$85 million as the value of new public and private sector investment in the agriculture sector.
Production unit of the factory under construction
Members of the consortium interacts with management of Amantin Apro-Processing Company