Maize farmers urged to safeguard quality control

Maize farmer

Madam Victoria Dzigbordi Akumpule, General Manager of Assisi Farms Limited on Friday appealed to farmers to ensure quality control in the maize value chain process.

She said quality assurance in the maize value chain would go a long way to improve consumer confidence in the product.

She suggested to farmers that quality control equipment could be used to clean the maize grains of all impurities.

Madam Akumpule made the appeal when she made a presentation at a two-day Maize Value Chain Workshop at the University of Ghana in Accra.

The workshop, dubbed: “Private-Public Partnership for the Sustainable Intensification of Maize Production for the Crop’s Value Chain”, was organised by the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) of the University of Ghana.

It is being attended by over 70 participants, comprised of academics, researchers, governmental and non-governmental organisations, farmers, farmer groups, market women as well as manufacturers of agricultural products and equipment.

Key issues to be discussed include maize production, processing, transportation, storage and marketing.

Madam Akumpule said Assisi Farms Ltd, located at Esukese in the Afram Plains District of the Eastern Region, started with the primary focus on maize production, and had expanded to include livestock production.

She said after two years of struggling to get the business running, the challenge of selling the maize yields for the right price to recover costs, proved difficult resulting in the birth of Assisi Foods Limited.

She noted that in the first quarter of 2017, extensive research into maize processing initiated plans to set up a processing company to utilise the produce from the mother company to optimise cost recovery; saying; “What started as a support system for Assisi Farms has now become the main business of the day”.

“Initially, Assisi Foods Ltd focused on the production of corn flour, and other breakfast items like ekuegbemi and oblayo. That also proved very expensive to process with a lot of the maize going to waste as a by-product,” she said.

She said after researching into the sale of corn dough, which was one of the staple foods in Accra; “thus, Assisi Foods retails corn dough to the market that produces kenkey and banku with customers based in areas like Accra central, Tema, Dansoman, Amasaman and Aburi”.

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