Business News of Thursday, 18 April 2013
Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Trade and Industry, says government is committed to support agribusiness through the granting of tax incentives to entrepreneurs.
He said government believes that agribusiness is important to socio-economic development since the venture has the potential to engage the youth in meaningful employment and sustain livelihood through farming.
Mr Iddrisu made this known when he inaugurated Vegpro Ghana, a fresh vegetable factory, at Torgome near Akuse. Vegpro Kenya is a large scale producer and exporter of fresh vegetables. According to the minister, government is not happy with industries contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.
He said for that matter his outfit has been tasked to ensure that trade and business investments get the necessary support from government to open job opportunities for Ghanaians. He announced that from next year government, through the renewed Export Development and Investment Fund would set up one agribusiness local industry in every district to create employment for the youth in the rural areas.
The factory in its full capacity would export 17,500 tons of vegetables per year to markets in Europe. The company has acquired about 200 hectares of land for its plantation at Torgome and employed more than 250 workers.
Through the support of Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement Programme (ACDI/VOCA), Vegpro was assisted with $1.8 million for a 6.1- kilometer pipeline pending completion of an irrigation scheme being sponsored by the Millennium Development Authority.
The ACDI/VOCA is in line with the objective of helping smallholder farmers in Ghana, to improve productivity and livelihood. Mr Barat Patel, Executive Chairman of the Vegpro Group said it intends to establish a sugar mill to process raw sugarcane which would create job opportunities for many and also improve the welfare of farmers.
He said Vegpro Kenya which was established in 1979 employs about 8,000 people and works with about 3,000 smallholder farmers.