Ghana: Tomato factory starts production after delay

Techiman Processing Complex (TEPCO), an agro-processing company at Techiman in the Brong Ahafo Region that was primarily established for tomato processing after years of delay, has finally started production.

The new development was partly cushioned by a GH¢200,000 financial support from the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF) to the company. The Management of the company is also seeking domestic and foreign investor partnerships to facilitate full operation of the plant, Wil Aparloo Ofori, CEO-TEPCO has said.

The processing plant is a cooperation product of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Italian government. The facility, which is among other things aimed at increasing tomato, mango and watermelon processing in order to reduce importation of processed products,was officially inaugurated in December 2012.

In 2013, the government of Ghana entered into an agreement with a private developer under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP). The plant, with a daily production capacity of 40 tonnes, has since not been fully operational -- largely because of raw materials non-availability.

The CEO of TEPCO said the company can no longer rely on open-air cultivation for the needed quantity and quality of raw materials, particularly tomato for production, and has therefore opted for greenhouses as an alternative technology.

He appealed for government to factor-in the technology in its vegetable production programmes and projects. This, he stressed, will go a long way to produce abundant, quality vegetables to help resurrect all the defunct processing companies.

TEPCO is the second agro-processing company in the Brong Ahafo Region to drift into greenhouse technology for raw materials cultivation. The Wenchi Tomato Factory, a subsidiary of Agri Commercial Services Limited, initiated a similar move with a GH¢250,000 ten-tunnel project.

Source: ghanaweb.com

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