Conversion of cassava into industrial starch is expected to commence at New Aboi in the Wassa Amenfi Municipality of the Western Region as a One District One Factory (IDIF) initiative by the end of this year.
“Clearing land for construction of the Industrial Starch Factory will start this month, and hopefully by December it will be completed for production to start,” Moses Kwabena Boakye, Administrative Manager of Amenfi Farms Ghana Limited has said.
According to him, planting cassava started seven months ago on 500 acres of land with 100 workers (70 are permanent and 30 temporary): “We have also gotten over 300 acres at Mansiso in the Municipality, and that planting will start soon”.
This was made known when Dr. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional Minister, paid a working visit to the farm to assess progress of work so far.
Mr. Boakye mentioned that the company will need a lot of outgrowers and other support such as fertiliser, Wellington boots, spraying machines, machetes, water, and a consistent supply of electricity among others.
Again, he said the road network is very poor and appealed for government to tar the road leading to the factory.
Dr. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah noted that some people perceive that farming is for the poor and this erroneous impression must be erased; it is about how you do it, and they must be encouraged to give of their best – especially the youth.
He urged farmers to use the right methods and technologies for the sustainability of their businesses.
“As the factories are going to commence production, the youth will have to start planting so that in the next year, as the factory is running, they will be gaining income,” he advised.
Municipal Chief Executive of Wassa Amenfi, Mrs. Helena Appiah, assured the farmers of consistent water supply and access roads for outgrowers to transport their produce to the factory.
In a related development, Western Regional Minister Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah has assured the Paramount Chief of Wassa Amenfi Traditional Area, Tetrete Okuamoah Sekyim II, that the Regional Coordinating Council is ready to work with the chiefs to bring about needed development.
He pointed out that the region has all the resources needed to grow the country’s economy; “We need to work to own the productive sector as a region”.
He said littering and indiscriminate throwing away of waste within the municipality should be discouraged, and urged the local assemblies to support in this direction.
“I am open to advice and suggestions that will help the region to grow,” he said.
Tetrete Okuamoah Sekyim II, Paramount Chief of Wassa Amenfi Traditional Area said: “As the regional minister you can call on the chiefs at anytime; the task ahead of you is big. We have an accolade which says ‘the best comes from the west’, and this should be maintained.
“We will do well to ensure that the needed development is brought to the region,” he said.