Akufo-Addo commissions $16m tomato processing factory in Domfete
At Domfete, in the Berekum West District of the Bono Region, President Nana Akufo-Addo commissioned the $16 million Weddi Africa Tomato Processing Factory, which is part of the 1-District-1-Factory project.
The government supported the purchase of a credit facility for Weddi Africa Limited, a wholly-owned Ghanaian firm, through Ghana Exim Bank and ADB Bank Ghana.
The factory’s development, according to President Akufo-Addo, exemplifies the vital role that the private sector can play in Ghana’s industrial revolution.
He went on to say that the establishment of this manufacturing plant outside of Accra, Tema, and Takoradi demonstrates the government’s determination to decentralize industrial growth and, as a result, promote economic activity in rural areas.
He stated that Domfete was chosen for the factory’s location because it is one of the key catchment regions for fresh tomato growing and would assist to reduce rural-urban migration.
The business will process 40,000 metric tonnes of fresh tomatoes per year and will also include a 500 metric ton cool room to preserve the fruits.
The firm has also developed a model farm and research center to perform seed trials and teach farmers on optimal agricultural techniques, as well as an agric-input Shop to sell inputs to farmers at cheap costs.
This, according to the firm, will increase the factory’s profitability while also increasing the income levels of the company’s farmers.
Weddi Africa has also established a 2,400-acre nucleus farm, as well as supporting the formation of a Tomato Outgrower Farmers Association in Tano North and Berekum West districts, with 2,000 registered farmers from the Ahafo and Bono areas.
The MDAs are on track to deliver seeds, fertilizers, other inputs, and technical assistance to these 2,000 farmers.
These government-backed procedures have been set up to offer the necessary support services to maintain the factory’s profitability and long-term viability.
1D1F: Akufo-Addo opens a $16 million tomato processing plant in Domfete.
158 direct employment have been generated thus far, with 2,100 indirect jobs.
President Akufo-Addo promised that the government is dedicated to assisting private sector operators such as Weddi Africa Limited in becoming internationally competitive and, as a result, taking advantage of market integration frameworks such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Indeed, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has developed an institutional structure to give strategic support and assistance to the local private sector functioning at the district level, in conjunction with appropriate MDAs.
This is in relation to the creation of Business Resource Centers as one-stop enterprise support centers in 67 districts around the country, 37 of which have already opened and 30 more are in the works.
The support offered by these BRCs will benefit the 1D1F businesses.
The President thanked the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the West African Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other stakeholders for their assistance to the firm.