William Dzamefe, Volta Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), has indicated that the region is capable of leading the cassava revolution in Ghana.
Speaking at a stakeholder engagement organised by the Torchbearer International Agricultural Science and Technology (TIAST) Group in Ho on Wednesday, Mr. Dzamefe revealed that the department had collaborated with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to release many cassava varieties that were of commercial and industrial importance to the growth of the cassava industry, including Sikabankye and Ampong.
The engagement saw the introduction of a technology by the TIAST Group which processed cassava and other crops.
“We are proud as a department to be associated with Caltech, one of the giants in the cassava business in Ghana. The out-grower scheme, in our opinion, remains the most opportune strategy for industry expansion and sustainability of incomes of value actors,” Mr. Dzamefe stated.
He further appealed to chiefs in the region to release lands for agricultural projects.
Considering the worst forms of drought in the past 15 years, he said cassava remained the crop with the highest yield.
Chief Operations Officer for the TIAST Group, Freca Xiao, maintained that processing cassava, soybeans, rice, mango, tomato and the other crops could earn millions in revenue for Ghana.
He assured farmers that the group was poised to fund the equipment, technology and provide off-take trading locally to help Ghanaians get more value from agricultural produce such as cassava, rubber, tomatoes, corn and rice through processing, with the requisite financial support.
He explained that TIAST would help producers to set up processing factories for cassava starch in Ghana, saying “we already know financing the project may be an issue, so TIAST has a partnership with Stanbic Bank Ghana to provide Financial support if you want to own a factory,” he told farmers at the meeting.”
According to him, 70% to 80% of the total financing, including equipment, installation, training, civil and steel structure works and water treatment system among others needed for the setting up of the factory will be provided by Stanbic Bank.