Volta Region should be cassava processing hub – Caltech

Managing Director of Caltech Ventures has called on entrepreneurs to establish cassava processing facilities in Ho, Adaklu and Abutia districts to turn the area into a cassava processing hub.

Chris Quarshie said Ghana imported about 70 million litres of ethanol annually and that his project’s design capacity produced only three million litres of ethanol per year.

The boss of the cassava production and processing company at Hodzo near Ho, also called for investment in the sector to reduce ethanol imports into the country.

“In pursuant of the one district one factory policy, there will be a lot of synergy and economies of scale if you locate factories using the same raw material within adjoining districts,” Mr Quarshie said in an interview.

The enclave, he said would facilitate the sharing of ideas, risks and benefits as well as promote investments in areas such as “transporters specialised in cassava haulage”, fabricators and artisans.

He said Caltech would serve as an anchor client for producers and processors of cassava and share experiences to promote the growth of the cassava value chain.

According to him, the growth of the cassava value chain would have a huge impact on the local economy with the provision of jobs, investments in infrastructure, skills acquisition and technology transfer in the rural areas.

He added that commercial farmers would also benefit from the enclave as they would be major stakeholders in the supply chain and create substantial employment in view of the labour-intensive nature of the industry.

Mr Quarshie said Caltech was currently buying cassava from Adaklu and Adidome to supplement inputs from its nucleus farm and had since August 2016 produced an estimated 150,000 litres of ethanol.

Caltech is the only ethanol producing company in the country. The company is currently installing facilities for the full-scale production of liquefied carbon dioxide and electricity from factory and farm waste using biogas technology.

More than 50 products, including native starch, various modified starches, cassava flour, sweeteners, biodegradable plastics, adhesives, beer and ethanol are derived from processing cassava.

 

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