TIAST Group, a Chinese owned company on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Stanbic Bank to provide massive boost for the cassava industry in the agricultural sector.
Cassava, one of the main tuber crops cultivated by farmers in almost every part of Ghana has since time immemorial provided food for all kinds of people in the country.
Unfortunately, the larger population of cassava farmers has little or nothing to show for themselves when compared to cocoa farmers and others.
Every year, almost half of the cassava produce harvested by farmers go waste because of the lack of processing factories to process the tubers into starch and other products for exportation.
Following several engagements, TIAST Group and Stanbic Bank have come together to cushion cassava farmers to transform the industry with the hope of making it boom like cocoa one day.
For the start, the equipment suppliers and the financial services providers have by the signing of the MoU agreed to resources actors in the cassava industry value chain for the setting up of as many processing factories with very low risk.
“TIAST and Stanbic Bank has entered into a strategic partnership to provide financial support by granting the buyer with 2-5 years of equipment financial leasing service.
“This service is different from other commercial services, loan service. It is a complete investor closed-loop support service from starting up the factory to off-take”, Lisa Hao, Chief Business Officer at TIAST explained to stakeholders at the signing ceremony.
According to her, TIAST will help value chain actors to design capacity to match the standardized production line equipment, to supply spare parts, to train the local technicians, to provide equipment maintenance service regularly with the local team, and to provide off-take service to ensure the processing factories see the light of day once an interested party takes advantage of the partnership.
Mr Alhassan Andani who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Stanbic Bank, said his outlet is excited to be working with TIAST and hopes the venture will replicate another COCOBOD story in the cassava industry.
“This is an opportunity for us working with TIAST to ensure that we can have the appropriate equipment that the suppliers stand by it and committed to support and maintain of this equipment and committed to helping us to build a global market for the final output of this cassava, the starch or the ethanol”, he added.
Mr. Alhassan Andani
Representing the Minister of Trade and Industry at the ceremony, Mr Patrick Nimo noted that the Ministry welcomes the partnership between TIAST Group and Stanbic Bank.
According to him, it is partnerships like this that will support the modernization of the entire cassava value chain and empower farmers to invest their all to ensure higher production.
Reading a speech on behalf of the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Richard Twumasi-Ankrah stressed that the Ministry through its policies and program interventions will support the initiative.
He continued, “It is gratifying to know that the partnership between SIAST and Stanbic Bank in making cassava processing equipment available to value chain actors is focused.
“There are huge opportunities to be exploited through this initiative which will go a long way to reduce post-harvest losses and in the process create jobs”.
Key details about the TIAST-Stanbic Bank partnership:
Basically what the MoU seeks to achieve is for TIAST as a technology provider to facilitate value addition in the cassava value addition chain.
Stanbic Bank will serve as a financing partner to help farmers in financing the equipment farmers, entrepreneurs, actors in the value chain will be purchasing from TIAST.
Stanbic Bank is ready to finance up to 85% of whatever machine or equipment the farmer will want to purchase from TIAST Group for the setting up of the cassava processing factory
Funding will be spread between 2-5 years for the repayment to allow the farmer or entrepreneur to have enough time to pay from the profit generated.
The agreement is to help all actors in the value chain of the Cassava industry to benefit as well as the country at the end of the day.