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Minister tours Ghana Nut Company at Techiman

The Bono East Regional Minister, Akwasi Adu-Gyan, has paid a familiarization visit to the Ghana Nut Company Limited in Techiman to acquaint himself with the operations of the facility and also to assure management of government’s readiness to resuscitate the company.

The Ghana Nut Company Limited is one of the leading agro-processing companies in Ghana, with the vision to become the agro processing center of excellence in the West African Sub Region.

It is believed to be the first solvent extraction and Shea butter Refinery plant in West Africa rubbing shoulders with multi-national companies in the country and currently operates as an agro-based industrial project under the free zone enclave and a potential in the development agenda of H.E. President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, under the One-District-One-Factory policy.

The company has the capacity to process 100 metric tons of Soya beans into edible oil daily, which translates into about 36,500 metric tons per a year.

Speaking to the media after the tour, the Regional Minister underscored the immense contribution of the company to the socio-economic development of the people of the region and Ghana as a whole, especially in the area of job creation and the effective implementation of its Corporate Social Responsibility.

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“The challenge of securing adequate raw materials, what we describe in the agro-industrial circles as the capacity problem, has been an age-old issue that agro-processors particularly Ghanaian processors continue to contend with”, he observed.

Assurance

“What I want to assure you as GHANA NUT COMPANY is that you have a minister who is interested in finding solution to this problem to sustain the many employments you continue to provide for our youth in the Bono enclave and the contribution you make to the import substitution industrialization agenda of the country.”

He said the extent of his interest in helping find solution to the current problem facing the company is evident in the fact that as soon as he was nominated by the president as the regional minister, he began the process of “putting together a competent team and drafting a framework for a sustainable agro-industrialization in the Bono East Region, as part of the government’s industrialization policy. “

He said the Bono East region was endowed with vast agricultural land to produce sufficient raw materials to feed existing and potential agro-processors.

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“I understand that while a sustainable agro industry is what we need to expand market access for our farmers, the survival of an agro-industry depends to a large extent on the farmers who produce the raw materials needed to feed the industry. We clearly see synergistic relationship; the farmer needs the agro-processor and the agro-processor needs the farmer. It is this relationship that we need to effectively manage to ensure adequate supply of raw materials to our agro-industries such as GHANA NUT”, he added.

Special Purpose Vehicle

“I have already put together a team of experts in agro-industrialization under a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for socio- economic development of the Bono East Region. One of the key tasks of this project is to come out with a framework that guides agro processor– farmer relationships, either as contract relationship, an out-grower scheme, a strategic alliance, joint venture, cooperatives, or block farming, to ensure a sustainable production and delivery of sufficient raw agricultural materials for our industries.”

According to him, the SPV would work towards removing bottlenecks in on-farm production such as lack of irrigation for all year-round production, farm inputs and machinery, warehousing and storage. Additional incentives to make farming attractive to our graduates such as providing insurance coverage for their farms, access to agricultural loans, training in modern agricultural production and establishment of agri-business incubation centers will be facilitated by the SPV.

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“As I indicated earlier, it is important that we effectively manage the relationship between our farmers and agro-processors if we want to ensure sustainable raw material supply. The SPV as a facilitator will ensure that through consultations with agro-processors and farmers a framework for contract enforcement, contract pricing, payment schemes and punitive measures for contract defaulting parties are instituted to guide the farmer-agro processor relationship in the Region.

“I assure Ghana Nuts Company Limited and similar companies in the region of my support and collaboration to ensure that the company operates at full capacity to be able to contribute to the economic development of the region. Together we will develop a raw material source for Ghana Nuts Company Limited.”