The European Union (EU) GrEEn Project is funding the construction of a rice processing factory on a two-acre land at Anto in the Shama district of the Western Region to boost job creation.
The factory will have a rice mill, de-stoner, re-husker, polisher, grading session, Pelletier machine among others to improve rice production.
As part of GrEEn’s objectives of supporting green businesses and entrepreneurs, SNV Ghana rolled out the GrEEn Innovation Challenge in 2021 to award a matching grant of up to €25,000 (GH¢175,000) per SME to businesses that have innovative products and services in SNV’s three sectors: agriculture, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
In December 2021, a total of 12 green businesses were selected and received a matching grant of GH¢1,170million under the maiden GrEEn Innovation Challenge.
Jesse Roland Prah, a Rice Farmer and Producer of the Roland Rice, also received a matching grant of GH¢175,000.
Under the GrEEn Project, Jesse Prah Enterprise has also received a six-month free business advisory support from SNV Ghana under the GrEEn Incubation Programme facilitated by Duapa Werkspace, a business hub in the Western Region.
In addition to the factory, Roland Rice – as a result of the matching grant – will also purchase a quantity of equipment to expand its operations as well as make the business greener by converting husk from the rice farm into pellets and briquettes, a cleaner replacement for charcoal.
At a sod-cutting ceremony to commence the project at Shama district, Ms. Genevieve Parker-Twum, Senior Adviser-Incubation and Acceleration at SNV, explained that the GrEEn project is a four-year action co-implemented by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).
The project, she said, aims at creating greater economic and employment opportunities for youth, women and returning migrants, by promoting and supporting sustainable, green businesses in the two selected regions, Western and Central.
She said the GrEEn Project is implemented under the European Union Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF) for Africa with a contribution of €20,000,000 from the European Union, and co-funding of €600,000 from SNV, UNCDF and Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
“This is also to help the local economy grow, develop and support sustainable, green businesses that are using practices and strategies which make use of waste material or fight the effects of climate change,” she added.
Mr. Jesse Roland Prah, CEO of Roland Rice, was happy in regard to the project’s construction – saying, “This is a dream come true”.
According to him, the factory will help the rice industry to grow; and he expressed gratitude to the SNV GrEEn project for the opportunity and support to expand the business.
“Ghanaians should expect an improved and better quality brand of rice for their consumption,” he added.
Mr. Ebenezer Dadzie, Shama District Chief Executive Officer said: “I am happy this project is sited within the district; it will support the local economy to grow and create employment opportunities”.