About 80 farmer-based organisations, comprising at least 1,000 farmers, will benefit from the Processing and Services Centre, jointly constructed by the Ahafo Mine of Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL) and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ). at the cost of US$694,897.
It will also help reduce post-harvest losses in chilli pepper and ginger, targeted crops earmarked for processing, which currently stand between 15 and 26 percent in the Asutifi area.
Mr. Jeop Coenen, the General Manager of the Ahafo Mine of Newmont said, the Centre which would help improve earnings of farmers through the value addition to their produce, would also process maize and soya beans.
He said that the implementation of several agricultural interventions such as the Agricultural Improvement and Land Access Programme (AILAP) and the Agribusiness Growth Initiative (AGGI) by the mine, had improved food production in the area.
Mr. Coenen said through AILAP, maize production had increased from a baseline of 1.74 metric tonnes in 2005 to 3.0mt/h in 2014.
This, he observed, was attributed to the increase in extension services through partnership support from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), and high-yielding farm inputs supplied to farmers who have been impacted by the mine’s activities.
“As a company that is purposed to create value and improve lives through sustainable mining, NGGL is committed to such productive collaborators, aimed at promoting and fostering viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound agricultural development programmes for economic transformation in the Ahafo area,” he said.
Dr. Cyril Quist, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Director of the Ministery of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), observed that general food production in the Asutifi area had witnessed a drastic improvement.
Dr. Quist advised farmers in the area to take opportunity of the facility and work hard to improve on production to enhance their living conditions.