A groundnut processing facility has been launched in Kumasi by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with the support of the Hershey Company and Rotary International.
The facility is expected to provide ready market for groundnut farmers to increase production and incomes.
Groundnut has a lot of nutritional values but access to ready market has over the years been a challenge to most groundnut farmers in Ghana, contributing to the decline in its production.
Farmers complained prices of produce are mostly determined by buyers. This, they say discourages them from expanding production.
The groundnut processing facility in Kumasi would be used to manufacture ready-to-use therapeutic food to combat child malnutrition in Ghana and beyond, Country Director of Project Peanut Butter, Carly Edwards has said.
“This new groundnut processing facility offers the opportunity for children to receive effective therapy for malnutrition with locally produced food.
“We believe that with early intervention, we can help eradicate malnutrition as the cause of death in children in Ghana”.
The US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson said the facility will enhance efforts to achieve food security and decent income.
“Through the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Initiative, we partner widely to improve food security and nutrition and this groundnut roaster will be a major boost to groundnut farming.
“The facility will enable Ghanaian farmers to sell the groundnut they grow, without worrying about aflatoxin – a deadly carcinogen found in some unroasted groundnut. As a result, Ghana will be able to produce supplements for severely undernourished children using local groundnut and farmers will also be able to double their incomes”.
The Minister of Business Development, Ibrahim Awal Mohammed, said the government is working towards creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
“President Nana Addo wants to ensure that at least 20 indigenous Ghanaian businesses are created that can compete globally, expand, and employ more people in the next 3 years”.
But this, he added, cannot be done without the support of private partners. Mr Awal Mohammed commended the USAID and its partners for establishing the groundnut processing factory. A groundnut farmer, Doho Sumaila, lamented the challenges they hitherto had to go through to sell their farm produce.
“Previously, what we do is that after harvesting we send it to the markets for the buyers to determine the price they intend to pay but we will heave a sigh of relief now that access to ready market has been provided to us.
“The establishment of this facility will also give is a boost to expand our production level”