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23.05.2007 General News

Donor countries urged to assist farmers

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Dr. Tony Antwi Mensah, an Accra industrialist has called on the country's development partners to assist local fruit farmers produce quality raw materials for the fruit juice processing sub-sector.

Dr. Mensah, who is the Managing Director of Athena Foods Limited, an Accra juice processing plant, said the support from the donors should complement government efforts to assist small fruit processing companies who do not have the resources to support farmers enhance their production.

He was speaking at a workshop on Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) development in Ghana and the lessons from the Japanese experience of empowering its local manufacturers.

The workshop, organized by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and PSI and the Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA) was aimed at building the capacity of SMEs, especially those in garment and fruit juice sub-sector.

Dr Mensah also noted that demand for quality juices and juice type beverages had increased globally and that Ghana could benefit substantially if the sector was well resourced.

"The export market is huge but there are a lot of Challenges on the way," he added.

He said currently there were over 50 juice-processing companies in Ghana that were processing different varieties of fruit juices for both the local and the export markets.

He said inadequate water supply and electricity also posed a major challenge to the sector since most juice processing plants could not keep the raw materials for a long time in cold storage facilities.

Source: GNA

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