The Volta Regional Office of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) has proposed the establishment of a cassava processing plant in the Ho Municipality in line with government’s “one district one factory’ policy.
Mr Emmanuel Nyaku, NBSSI Regional Manager, said farmers in the middle belt of the region have increased their acreage in view of the rising industrial demand for cassava and that a processing plant in the regional capital would be welcomed.
He said such a facility would change the face of farming in the peri-urban area and expand the local economy with opportunities for small scale industries to venture into agribusiness.
Mr Nyaku, who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview, said players in the small and medium scale enterprises were expectant and hopeful that factories to be established in the region would be agro based in view of the agricultural potential of the region.
“The mainstay of the economy is agriculture and Volta Region produces a broad variety- salt in the south, cassava, maize and palm in the middle and rice, yam, legumes and other cereals in the northern parts of the region”, he said.
Mr Nyaku urged government to make real its promise to support agriculture and agribusiness to create jobs and ensure food security.
He said factories needed to be strategically sited to prevent post-harvest losses and promote ready markets.
The Volta Region is said to have recorded surpluses in cassava production over the years, with the crop gradually moving from being a food security commodity to an income generating commodity.
Figures from the Department of Agriculture indicate that in 2015, the Region recorded 1,350,633.30 metric tonnes of cassava against a regional consumption of 365,490.85 metric tonnes, resulting in a surplus of 548,088.25 metric tonnes.
The Ho municipality is a major cassava growing area with pockets of large scale cassava farms located at the outskirts of the regional capital.
Caltech Ventures, a cassava cropping and processing company at Hodzo, near Ho, is reported to have started the production of cassava-derived ethanol.