The Korea International Corporation Agency (KOICA) is set to construct a Multipurpose Processing Facility at Winneba in the Effutu Municipality of the Central Region next year to process and store vegetables to prevent post harvest losses.
Aside the multi purpose processing facility, a training centre for stakeholders, including farmers, processors and technical staff, would be constructed at Winneba to train the stakeholders on best practices of processing and storing fresh vegetables.
The move, the second phase of KOICA’s support to raise the standard of living of farmers in the Region and the Country at large, would process vegetables and also store them to keep them fresh.
The Volta Region will benefit from the 95 million dollar project dubbed “Strengthening Agribusiness value chain for local economic development.”
Dr Peter Omega, Regional Director of Agriculture, who disclosed this, said the Department was in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to ensure that the facility was well utilised to achieve its purpose.
He was briefing Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) when the new Chief Director of the Central Regional Coordinating Council, Mr Michael Owusu Amoako, held his maiden meeting with them.
The meeting was for the Chief Director to officially introduce himself to the heads during which the latter briefed him of their activities and challenges.
The first phase is a Rice Value Chain Support Programme (RVCSP) launched in 2021 and being implemented in five beneficiary districts in Gomoa East, Assin Fosu, Assin North, Assin South and Twifo Atti Morkwa to improve the quality of life of rural rice farmers through increased yields.
The rice project, which is also to deploy capacities of the KOICA in the rice value chain intervention through machinery and equipment and knowledge and skills training programmes to increase production, was scheduled to end in December 2023 but had been extended to next year.
Touching on the activities of the Department, he mentioned that it offered technical support to farmers in the Region, who were mostly into citrus, cocoa, coconut, oil palm, vegetable farming, fishing and aquaculture.
The Region which has the longest coastline of 150 kilometres with vibrant fishing activities would have its local economy changed for the better if Agriculture was well supported.
Dr Omega announced that a Chinese Company, the TIAST GROUP, had expressed interest to process coconut husk into charcoal and also establish processing facilities for District Assemblies which would want to have factories to process cassava, sweet potato and coconut in their Areas to find the financial capital to get the equipment.
He cited challenges of dwindling technical and supporting staff, finance and staff accommodation, which were hampering the department’s smooth operations.
He said the Department was in touch with the National Service Secretariat to deploy technical staff to augment the work in the Region to make Agriculture attractive and beneficial to change the economic fortunes of the Region.
The Chief Director, for his part, urged all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to be proactive and collaborate with the RCC to develop the Region.