The Amantin Agro Processing Company Limited in the Atebubu-Amantin Municipality in the Bono East Region will start operation by the end of July, 2021, the administrator of the factory, Mr Napoleon Matthew Tei, has disclosed.
According to him, about 94 per cent of work on the cassava processing facility under the “One district, One factory” programme had been completed.
The factory, which will produce industrial starch for both domestic and international markets, is expected to create about 6,000 direct and indirect jobs, consisting of 70 per cent males and 30 per cent females.
Mr Tei disclosed this when the Bono East Regional Minister, Mr Kwasi Adu-Gyan, paid a working visit to the factory site during a three-day tour of the eastern part of the region.
"We intend to start actual production by the end of July, 2021," he stated, explaining that test running and computer programming had started.
The waste materials from the factory will also be used to produce animal feed which will be supplied to cattle, pigs and fish farmers in the area and beyond.
The factory is expected to process about 60 acres of raw cassava each day to produce 300 tonnes of industrial starch when in full operation.
It is, however, expected to process about 18,000 tonnes of cassava during its initial stage of operation, which will later expand to 36,000 tonnes of fresh cassava to produce the 300 tonnes of industrial starch daily.
Mr Tei explained that the factory had cultivated 36,000 acres of cassava, which was ready for production, while an additional 25,000 acres of cassava had been planted.
He explained that the factory had also engaged thousands of out-growers to ensure that more raw materials were available to feed the factory all-year-round.
He said the out-growers had been supported with farm implements such as supply of planting materials, fertilisers and chemicals, in addition to assisting them in the preparation of their farmland.
Mr Tei said majority of the workers would be employed from the district, who “will be producing the raw materials".
He said the factory would ensure that agriculture became a business venture that would attract young people into the area and into the sector.
Mr Adu-Gyan said the factory was part of plans to industrialise the economy.
He explained that about 80 per cent of the people in the region were farmers, and that "if, indeed, we want to enhance the living standard of people, then we need to pay much attention to the agriculture sector," he stated.
He expressed the need for the region to find ways to transform the agricultural sector through modern and advanced approaches, application of technology and the use of modern seeds and seedlings to help farmers to produce higher yields.
Mr Adu-Gyan said it was also necessary for farmers to add value to their agricultural produce to make the industry more lucrative for the players and attractive to others.
Mr Adu-Gyan said farmers inability to get loans and access to markets to sell their produce was a major problem hindering the youth from venturing into agriculture.
"If we are unable to resolve these two challenges or limitations in agriculture, it will be very difficult to make agriculture attractive for our youth," he stated.
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