Asamakese (E/R), April 30, GNA - Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur on Wednesday assured farmers in the country that Government would pay good prices for their products to maintain the nations agro-processing industries.
He threw an arm to farmers and other stakeholders to partner the Government to develop systems and address other challenges, to promote Ghanaian industries for long term guaranteed incomes for all partners.
We are looking at the possibility of giving incomes that are much more than what is obtained from export to other countries to ensure the keeping of a factory like Pinora, Vice President Amissah-Arthur said, at a durbar at Asamankese, in the West Akim Municipality in the Eastern Region.
The durbar was attended by Ministers of State, traditional rulers and a cross section of the general public.
This was after the Vice President had made a facility tour of Pinora Limited, a free-zone company involved in juice processing.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur explained that industry should move and grow with society, and implored farmers to support the growth of agro-processing industries by ensuring constant supply so that the companies would not be out of production in lean seasons.
He said the Government would support Ghanaian companies to maintain quality standards to keep the international marketability and clientele.
Government, he said, is supporting Ghanaian industries to address the challenges of inputs,infrastructure and productivity.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur commended the Pinora Limited for buying fruits from about 10,000 farmers from the area, and employing about 200 people from the area.
He said the establishment of a training institution at the factory site and on-the-job training to workers are also contributing to the development of skills.
The Vice President endorsed a partnership of Pinora Limited with Jei River Farms, a major pineapple producing company to increase production, and suggested that they go also into the processing of oil palm.
He also commended TT Brothers, a fruit juice distribution company for its partnership with Pinora Limited to market their products.
Mr Julius Debrah, Eastern Region Minister, announced that the Government is set to go deeply into the development of three identified areas in the Region-agriculture,agro-processing and tourism.
Nii Lante Vanderpuije, DeputyMinister of Trade and Industry, announced that Government has developed a stimulus package to encourage industrial production.
Madam Obuobia Darko-Opoku, DeputyExecutive Secretary of the Ghana Free Zones Board, observed that land acquisition is one of the challenges facing agro-processing companies, and therefore appealed to the Government to take a critical look at the land tenure system to attract more investors.
Mr Kweku Bediako, a major shareholder of the company, citing the poor state of the roads in the area,appealed to the Government to address infrastructure challenges and help reduce the cost of inputs.
Mr Louis Arena, Managing Director of the company, took the Vice President round on the tour.
Acclaimed as the largest juice processing plant in West Africa, Pinora Limited, about 120 kilometres from Accra, was incorporated as a Free Zone Company in 2005.
It is in the production of orange, pineapple, lime and cashew juice and plans to produce coconut, mango and Noni berry juice.
The company is also planning to open a bottling plant next June as part of its joint venture with Jei River Farms.
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