By Isaac AIDOO, ACCRA
THE Managing Director of Maphlix Trust Farms Limited, Mr Felix Mawuli Kamassah, has announced plans to set up a factory to process Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) and cassava into varied food recipes.
He said the idea was to make it a part of the One District One Factory (1D1F) initiative, and that they had already submitted a project proposal to the 1D1F Secretariat and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Mr Kamassah however lamented the delay in what was supposed to be support from the 1D1F Secretariat to get the farm and factory thriving. When up and running, the factory would give employment to some 200 people and benefit about 500 out-growers in the Ketu North Municipality.
He told Business that the Municipal Assembly had released 500 hectares of land for aggressive farming activities and was also providing power to enable to factory commence operation. Maphlix Farms, located at Dodze, is largely into vegetable cultivation for export and currently employs over 60 people – permanent and casual workers. Mr Kamassah said its heavy reliance on human labour was due to the lack of equipment such as harvesters. He added that they had been supplying seedlings to 120 out-growers.
The agribusiness entrepreneur who is also the president of the Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association of Ghana (VEPEAG) said there was a huge market for vegetables and that given adequate funding there would be a significant expansion of their farming activities.
Lack of funding has stalled efforts at expanding farming activities to be able to meet high demand from the international fruits and vegetables market.
According to him, efforts to secure funding from local sources to scale up his activities were fraught with several bottlenecks, eventually proving futile.
The only source of water for the farms, a dam by the main ECOWAS highway is drying up and has become a major challenge for Mr Kamassah and his workers. The dam serves as source of water for domestic purposes by inhabitants of some five communities dotted around the farm.