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Fruit processors appeal for machinery and funding

By gna

A local fruit processor, Mr Emmanuel Agyei Safori, says most local fruit processing enterprises lack appropriate machinery to be able to process the large number of fruits getting rotten on farms.

He said many of the fruit processing enterprises, which were established many years ago, lacked funding to acquire the required machinery to enable them package their products to meet market demands.

Mr Safori, the Managing Director of SAFSOM Enterprise, producers of Koforidua sweet orange, pineapple, tangerine and lemon juices, said that had resulted in their inability to expand to help provide market for local farmers engaged in fruit production.

He was speaking to the Ghana News Agency on how local fruit processing enterprises could help solve the periodic fruit glut that affect farmers in the Eastern Region on Thursday at Asomdwe, a suburb of Koforidua.

Mr Safori said even when there was any facility to support local food processing enterprises, there were too many conditions to be satisfied and this tended to deny serious entrepreneurs access to those funds.

He called for support for advertisement of products of small and medium scale fruit processing enterprises to enable them to compete favourably with imported fruit juices.

Reacting to the concerns raised Ms Rebecca Kodua, Eastern Regional Manager of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), said conditions attached to some of the facilities were necessary to enable the facilities to be legally managed.

She said her outfit had organized training programmes for many small and medium scale industries but often the funds available for her outfit were very limited and could not support many clients at a time.

Ms Kodua sited the example of Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) funds which was extended to them to disburse and said due to the limited nature of the funds the board was able to support only six of its clients.