‘Make Brong Ahafo Ghana’s food processing hub’

Business News of Friday, 12 April 2013

Source: Daily Guide

A communications consultant, Nana Agyei-Kodie Anane-Agyei, has proposed that the Brong Ahafo region should be made the industrial hub of Ghana for the processing of food due to the region’s geographic location and abundant resources. “Improvement in the agricultural sector also has the potential of stemming the tide of migration of our youth to the urban areas where they face harsh conditions. Some of them even embark on deadly journeys through the desert to Libya where many lose their lives,” he said.

Mr. Anane-Agyei made these remarks in an interview with DAILY GUIDE during the 54th anniversary of the creation of the region. “With nature having blessed the region with fertile land and other conditions that support agriculture, the key to the economic development of the region is to be found in agriculture. That means the region must not remain at the level of raw material production. There must be value addition and processing if we are to maximize the gains from agriculture,” he pointed out.

He called for the establishment of factories in various parts of the region for the processing of raw materials. He said attention should be focused on vegetable processing, especially the processing of tomato, pepper and okro which are produced in large quantities at Techiman, Tano, Atebubu, Jaman, Dormaa and other areas in the region.

Mr. Anane-Agyei further called for the establishment of an egg processing factory at Dormaa Ahenkro, which is the hub of poultry production in Ghana so as to assist the teeming poultry farmers who incur, loses annually due to poor prices, among others. “In addition, the production of industrial starch, glue and alcohol all from cassava, which is grown throughout the region, should be a matter of priority for the regional and district administrators.

“There is potential for the creation of livestock markets across the region, which can be modeled on the Techiman market. In addition, cottage industries can be set up for the production of oil palm, palm kernel, gari, earthenware, among others in Asunafo North, Tano North and South, Techiman and Sunyani.

“Considering the centrality of the region, it would be prudent to establish a meat processing factory in the areas where livestock rearing is predominant,” he pointed out. According to Mr. Anane-Agyei, the large parcels of land in Tain, Jaman North and South, Wenchi and Techiman are very good for large-scale production and processing of cashew into nuts, beverage and other products. This, he further stated, would guarantee more food and other products for consumption and export to enhance the living standards of the people.

Mr. Anane-Agyei called for more roads to be built in various parts of the region to facilitate the transportation of produce to the market centres. He also advised farmers to form co-operatives to protect their common interests.