Anuanom Industries at Gomoa Pomadze in the Central region has installed a 500-ton capacity machine for processing jatropha seeds into bio-diesel.
The company has also installed a 2000-ton capacity equipment for producing organic fertilizer from the by-product of the bio-diesel.
Mr. Onua Amoah, a Ghanaian industrialist who introduced the production of bio-diesel from jatropha seeds announced this at a jatropha implementation workshop at Mankessim.
Metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives, officials of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and bankers from 24 districts in the country attended the workshop, organised by the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment.
Mr. Amoah said since the bio-diesel project was to reduce cost of importing diesel into the country, every effort would be made to ensure that production was done at minimal cost.
He assured farmers to ready market for the crop, allaying fears that jatropha would suffer the ordeal farmers went through in marketing crops like coffee, sunflower and cashew.
The Deputy Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Mr Abraham Dwuma Odoom, announced that government has voted ¢15 billion for the development of jatropha in the country.
Mr. Odoom who is also the Chairman of the Jatropha Implementation Committee said out of the amount three billion cedis had been released for the production of seeds, while ¢12 billion was ready at the banks to be accessed by persons interested in the cultivation of the jatropha in the districts.
He said at moment seeds were available for cultivation of about 2,500 hectares of land and gave the assurance that by next year there would be seeds to cultivate nearly 5,000 hectares of land.
Mr. Odoom cautioned the banks not to sit on the money but to release them in time for successful implementation of the project.
National Co-ordinator of Community Based Rural Development Projects (CBRDP), Mr. Brown Matthew Oppong, said about five million dollars being the Natural Resource Management Component of the CBRDP, which was meant for the rehabilitation of degraded environment could also be accessed for the jatropha project.