Business News of 2013-12-04

Govt, private sector to set up agro-processing plants

The government is partnering the private sector to establish three agro-processing factories to process tropical exotic fruits in three regions.

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, who announced this in Accra yesterday, said the ministry was collaborating with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for the siting of the three factories.

According to him, a team was currently finalising the feasibility study and design for the project to take off next year.

The deputy trade minister was speaking at the opening of the Agrofood West Africa, the first international trade show on agriculture, food and beverages, which is being held concurrently with plastprintpack West Africa, also the maiden international trade fair on plastics, printing and packaging technology.

The three-day event, which is ongoing at the Accra International Conference Centre, is being attended by 81 exhibitors from 21 countries, mainly from Europe.

A German international trade organiser, fairtrade, is organising the event with the support of the German Delegation of Industry and Commerce in Ghana (AHK Ghana) and the German Embassy in Ghana, the ministries of Trade and Industry, Food and Agriculture, as well as the Austrian Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria and Ghana. The Graphic Communications Group Ltd is also offering support to the fair.

Mr Vanderpuye indicated that West African states had also started a process to establish a marine line to ply the sub-region.

He explained that a marine line for the sub-region had become more crucial to promote intra-regional trade as most sea freighting within the region currently run on the spines of foreign vessels, which took a long time to shuttle between Europe and Africa.

The Chief Executive Officer of Fairtrade, Mr Martin März, said the fair came at the back of growing interest in West Africa for its economic strides, with Ghana leading the pack as a gateway to West Africa with a politically and economically stable environment underpinned by a consistent average growth rate of seven per cent.