Koudijs Ghana Limited (KGL) as part of plans to consolidate its market position in the country has cut sod for the construction of a compound animal feed factory.
Located on a 500-acre site at the Free Zones Enclave in Tema, the factory is expected to enhance the local production of animal feed.
At the sod-cutting ceremony in Tema, the General Manager of KGL, Mr Hugo Visscher, said the company was shifting to local production by building a state-of-the-art multimillion-dollar investment animal feed mill after years of exporting to help the company grow with farmers in the agricultural sector in Ghana.
He said it marked a new chapter for Koudijs, adding that the company believed in a combination of global knowledge and local presence.
“Sharing knowledge locally binds us together. The construction of the state-of-the-art feed mill will mainly be led by Ghanaian engineers working closely with many Ghanaian contractors.
The factory will produce to meet international standards of producing high quality nutritious feed, while focusing on innovation and development to achieve continuous success and to secure much better profitability for local farmers,” he stated.
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Koudijs is the local company of the Dutch Royal De Heus Group, which has over 100 years of experience in the animal nutrition market and owns factories in 15 countries worldwide.
The construction of the feed mill in Ghana, expected to be completed by the end of this year, will begin commercial feed production and concentrates early next year with a capacity of 90,000 tonnes per annum.
The Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food, Ms Carola Schouten, said like the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda which sought to use its own resources, the Netherlands was building a new agricultural system that would strive for sufficiency; a balanced system that could support itself and limit its impact on the planet.
She said Koudijs supported the philosophy of sourcing locally, minimising food loss and re-using waste at the national and international levels.
Koudijs, she stated, wanted to source at least half of all the micro-ingredients it used locally from within Ghana. It also estimates that rural areas will benefit from the creation of around 10,000 extra jobs in the next 10 years.
“Koudijs will support the value chain by organising and coordinating a range of things, including maize and soy outgrower schemes, platforms to buy and sell these raw materials, quality assurance and stakeholder training,” she said.
The Minister of State in charge of Poultry, Dr Nurah Gyiele, noted that despite the huge demand for fish and meat in Ghana, the country produced less than 50 per cent of those.
He said although volumes were improving, it was inadequate to fill the demand and supply gap as the country spent significant amounts to import meat and fish from Europe and the Americas.
He noted that outdated technologies, rising input cost and underlying competitiveness challenges meant that the local fish and livestock sectors were poorly placed to meet rising consumer demand, and that presented an opportunity for entrepreneurs who could solve the fish and meat problem.
“There is no doubt among development actors that the fish and livestock sectors in Ghana need to be transformed to trigger the socio-economic development of the country.
We must stop enumerating the challenges facing these sectors and put our shoulders on the wheel to act in a planned, coherent and focused manner to ensure challenges are tackled,” he said.
The Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Ron Strikker, in an interview said Ghana would benefit from the Koudijs initiative as producing locally saved money, especially foreign currency.