Tumu: Maize factory to invest $5m more for expansion

BY: Michael Quaye, Tumu
Eric Dankwa Kissi – MD, Kedan Limited
Eric Dankwa Kissi – MD, Kedan Limited

Officials of the newly-inaugurated maize processing factory at Tumu expect to invest an additional $5 million by next year to increase operational capacity and employment opportunities for the youth.

Managing Director of Kedan Limited, Eric Dankwa Kissi, said the company would first increase the plant capacity beyond the current 7,000 metric tonnes annual threshold and improve working capital for raw material aggregation, among initial measures towards growth and expansion.

He said the company would also construct silos, expand the existing warehouse, enrol more farmers onto the existing collaboration between them and the company, and invest in sophisticated machinery – including tractors, planters and shellers – and an irrigation project.

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In 2017, the company recorded a turnover of GH¢5 million – when the plant was not in operation – and the current projection for 2018 is a whopping GH¢10.5 million.

At the inauguration of the company at Tumu in Upper West Region last Friday, Mr Dankwa Kissi appealed for a “funding option that is flexible, patient and above all at a much realistic and relatively lower interest rate and on good terms” to boost local investment in the various production sectors of the economy.

He said access to credit to finance both agro-processing and crop processing in Ghana “is a major challenge”.

“It is never available, and if available, it is at harsh conditions and at an interest rate that can end up collapsing your business and making you highly indebted to the banks,” he said.

Appeal to government

He appealed to the government to “create the enabling environment that will attract entrepreneurs to set up viable agribusiness ventures so we can employ more people to ease the burden on government”.

He praised some financial institutions, including Access Bank, for their support to such investments, describing it as an exemplary gesture that could transform the local business environment into a bigger employment pool for the youth.

Kedan Limited is a $2 million factory that currently processes 30 tonnes (600 pieces of 50kg bags) of maize per day into maize grates, maize floor, fortified maize meal, and maize bran for poultry and other animal feed maize for both industrial raw material and domestic consumables.

The company comprises a processing plant, a warehouse and an administrative block all housed on a one-acre plot on the outskirts of town, and a 200-acre maize farm.

The warehouse and the plant were co-funded by the company and a grant awarded by the West Africa Food Markets (WAFM) programme – which is funded by UKAID and implemented by Palladium Group. The other components of the company, including the maize farm, were solely procured by the company.

The deputy minister for Upper West Region, Mr Amidu Chinia, asked other entrepreneurs to take advantage of “the prevailing favourable environment under the government's friendly policies to invest in sustainable sectors to employ the youth”.

The chief executive for the Sissala East Municipal Assembly, Mr Karim Nyanua, said “the government's agenda of radical economic transformation and job creation is underpinned by a programme of rapid and aggressive industrialization” that justified the timely establishment of Kedan Limited in the Municipality.