The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has completed its framing of the much-awaited Tree and Industrial Crops Development Authority.
A draft bill for the creation of a Tree and Industrial Crops Development Authority is ready and expected to be laid in Parliament soon, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced.
He said, when passed, the Authority will help accelerate the production and marketing of tree crops such as cashew, mango, rubber, oil palm and coffee, so as to broaden the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
Passage of the proposed Tree and Industrial Crops Development Authority bill will be refreshing for industry actors, especially those in the cashew and mango value chains. The absence of a regulatory body has been identified as the main challenge to development of these crops in the country, as farmers receive very little for their produce from individual buyers.
President Akufo-Addo made this announcement at Mim in the Asunafo North Municipality of the newly- created Ahafo Region, when he addressed a durbar of chiefs and people as part of his two-day tour of the Ahafo Region.
The paramount Chief of Mim, Nana Okofrobour Prof. Yaw Agyei II, appealed for government to revive the defunct Ayum Timber Company. The once-vibrant timber company at Mim is struggling due to reasons such as high production cost and inadequate supply of timber logs,
In response,President Akufo-Addo indicated that government under the 1D1F initiative has advanced plans to re-open the Ayum Timber Company as soon as possible.
He said: “By the end of second quarter of this year, it is expected that the plywood milling section of the factory will resume operations. About 300 people will be employed directly by the company”.
The president also visited the construction site of Rhovanni Royal Limited – a specialised clay products factory at Tanoso in the Tano North Municipality.
The construction of the wholly Ghanaian-owned company under the auspices of 1D1F is progressing steadily. The CEO of Rhovanni Royal Limited, Carl Christian Lokko, conducted the president and his entourage around the factory site.
He said construction of the administration block is almost finished and the next phase is a 10,000 square metre shed for the factory’s production, adding: “Hopefully, by November ending it should be completed to start trial production”.
The company’s products include bricks, terracotta tiles, paving, roofing tiles, paneling, ceiling tiles and other clay products. Rhovanni Royal Limited seeks to directly employ 98 graduates, 400 factory workers and create 1,200 indirect employment. Initially, the company had 37.79 acres of clay which was projected to last for about 33 years – but the CEO said it has acquired an additional 80 acres of clay land.
The vision of the company is: “To lead the bricks industry in Ghana and the West African sub-region as a convenient source to quality brick-products with excellent customer service, and to be the best in class for clay manufacturing in the country – so as to serve as the vehicle for implementing Ghana’s clay industry project for sustainable economic development”.
Roads and Educational infrastructure
At Sankore in the Asunafo South district, the town’s Paramount Chief – Nana Okogyedom Appiah kubi II, made a passionate appeal for construction of the Sankore-Kukuom-Abuom road. He said the deplorable nature of the road does not befit an area that has in the past produced seven National Best Cocoa farmers, saying: “Our contribution to cocoa production in the country should not be underestimated, and therefore we deserve a better road; we have been neglected for far too long”.
President Akufo-Addo pledged the commitment of government to fast-track construction of the said road and other strategic roads leading to cocoa-growing communities in the country. Responding to matters of educational infrastructure deficit, he noted that the US$1.5billion GETFund loan will help give a facelift to educational infrastructure in the country, especially in senior high schools.