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23.09.2005 Business & Finance

Ayensu starch factory lacks raw materials

By Ghanaian Times.
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The Ayensu starch factory at Bawjiase in the Central region, the first to be established under the President's Special Initiatives is attracting more orders but it is unable to meet the increasing demand for its products owing to a short fall in cassava supply.

Currently, cumulative orders both locally and internationally for industrial starch amount to over 10,000 tonnes, representing only 50 per cent of installed capacity.

The company, which has orders from companies such as Nestle International, Unilever, Dera of Czech Republic and ELSA Foods, says it needs the active participation of some 7,000 farmers to produce the required quantity of cassava for the factory.

Acting managing director of the company, Osei Owusu Agyeman, told the Times during a tour of the factory by the visiting Sri Lanka minister of Trade, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, on Wednesday that it had acquired 5,000 acres of land at Gomoa Fetteh to be released to interested farmers for cultivation.

Plans are also underway to support both small and medium scale farmers with credits and extension services.

He urged farmers to take advantage of these to produce in commercial quantities to feed the factory.

Mr Fernandopulle who was the factory to acquaint himself with its operations exchanged ideas on cassava production. Sri Lank is the largest producer of cassava.

He was satisfied with the quality of starch produced by the company.

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