GHANA – Weddi Africa Limited, a wholly owned Ghanaian company has established a US$16 million tomato processing factory in Domfete, Bono Region, with support from the government.

The newly built Weddi Africa Tomato Processing Factory has been established under the 1-District-1-Factory initiative, show-casing the public-private sector collaboration.

Government, through Ghana Exim Bank and ADB Bank Ghana, facilitated the acquisition of the loan facility to support the construction of the factory.

The facility will have a processing capacity of 40,000 metric tonnes of fresh tomatoes per annum, supported by a 500 metric ton cold room facility to store fresh tomato fruits.

In addition, a model farm and research centre designed to conduct seed trials and train farmers on best farm practices, as well as an agric-input Shop to supply inputs to the farmers at affordable prices, have been established by the company.

Additionally, a 2,400-acre nucleus farm has been set up by Weddi Africa, with the company also spearheading the establishment of a Tomato Outgrower Farmers Association in Tano North and Berekum West districts, with 2,000 registered farmers from Ahafo and Bono regions.

Weddi Africa Tomato Processing Factory has a 500 metric ton cold room facility

These 2,000 farmers are on schedule to receive seeds, fertilizers, other inputs, and technical services from government supported mechanisms.

So far, the factory has created about 158 direct jobs, with some 2,100 indirect job opportunities for the people of Berekum West District and surrounding communities.

The launch of the tomato processing facility comes days after the inauguration of the GH¢7.3 million (US$1.2m) Savelugu rice processing factory in the Northern Region.

The state-of-the art facility features modern parboiling, milling and packaging lines, with an expected production capacity of 1.5 tonnes – 2.8 tonnes of processed rice per hour.

Meanwhile, the government has commissioned the GH¢6.04 million (US$1m) Savelugu Technology Solution Centre (TSC), which is one of the 5 new facilities being established by the Rural Enterprises Programme (REP).

The other four are located at Kumawu, in the Ashanti Region, Hohoe in the Volta Region, Elmina in the Central Region and Dormaa Ahenkro in the Bono Region.

The five TSCs are an upgraded version of and an addition to the original 26 Rural Technology Facilities (RTFs) established by REP, across the country in collaboration with GRATIS and the host District Assemblies.

The TSCs are set up to support the Government’s Industrialization Agenda particularly the 1D1F initiative.

Their key functions will include production of spare parts and repair services for district factories, manufacturing of agro-processing equipment and provide training for human resource capacity building.