The Managing Director of the Agricultural Development Bank, Dr. John Kofi Mensah has called on Ghanaians to patronize made in Ghana products for the sustenance of the One District One Factory (1D1F) initiative by Government.
According to Dr. Mensah, the success of the 1D1F initiative by government will largely depend on the patronage of the products produced by the factories established. “The more we patronize products locally manufactured by factories under the 1D1F initiative, the more the factories will grow, provide more employment opportunities and put the country on the trajectory of becoming self-sufficient,” he added.
Commending the establishment of the US$16million Weddi Africa Tomato Factory at Domfete, in the Brekum West District of the Bono Region, Dr. Mensah said the bank provided the loan facility for the purchase of raw materials, key operational assets and also in-grower for the planting of the required tomatoes to feed the factory.
According to Dr. Mensah, available statistics indicates that Ghana is currently the 7th largest importer of tomatoes paste in the world and the establishment of the tomatoes factory and its consumption must help curb the importation and save the country foreign exchange.
“ADB has been a key financial partner to the 1D1F Initiative and has so far disbursed about GH¢100million to 17 companies, majority in the agricultural sector,” he said.
The ADB Managing Director reiterated the bank’s readiness to support outgrower farmers supplying raw materials to factories operating under government’s 1D1F initiative in order for the factories to have adequate supply of raw materials to operate.
Dr. Mensah noted that ADB’s continuous support towards government’s agribusiness related initiatives is a testament of the Banks commitment to fulfilling its mandate of Agribusiness Financing.
The Weddi Africa Tomato Processing Factory is a tomato paste processing company. It has the capacity to process 40,000 tonnes of fresh tomatoes a year into tomato concentrate and tomato mix, which translates into 720 crates of fresh tomatoes per shift per day.
The factory also has a 500-tonne cold room to hold fresh tomatoes and established a nucleus 2,400-acre tomato farm, with a tomato out-grower farmers association made up of 2,000 registered and trained farmers from the Tano North District in the Ahafo Region and Berekum in the Bono Region.