Business News of 2014-08-01

170 Industries benefit from GH¢41m grant

The Skills Development Fund yesterday awarded grants totalling GHc41.3 million to 170 small, medium and large-scale enterprises towards the upgrading of technology and skills to increase productivity in the country.

The beneficiaries included science and technology institutions, educational and research institutions, formal private sector businesses, farmer-based organisations and trade associations.

Among the beneficiaries was the God is Great Yam and Cassava and Maize Farmers Group in Kpasa in the Volta Region.

The grant is to enable members of the group to acquire skills in the preservation and storage of yams, cassava and maize, as well as in the management of their farming businesses.

Other beneficiaries

The Hemang Nkosoo Plantain Farmers Association will also benefit from a grant to train its members in the rapid multiplication of plantain suckers to increase cultivation to meet the increasing local and international demand for plantain.

In the formal sector, Aglow Farms, one of the largest poultry businesses in Ghana, will also receive a grant to enable the company to acquire an innovative technology to facilitate the slaughter of 500 birds per hour and install a modern feed mill to provide continued cost effective nutrition for the over 250,000 birds on the farm.

Part of the support will be used to acquire technology to process and store the over one million eggs the company produces each year.

The University of Energy and Natural Resources will also receive a grant to develop an innovative and practically-oriented curriculum and competency-based training that will take into consideration local technical expertise, industry, academia and modern technology for the benefit of key stakeholders in fire and disaster detection, prevention, suppression and management.

Awards ceremony

At a ceremony to award the grants, the Minister of Education, Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, in an address read on her behalf, by her deputy, Mr Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa, said it was the aspiration of the government that its development partners provided sustainable funding to address deficits in skills and technology within the key productive sectors of the economy.

“We all know how crucial the skills and technology development agenda is to every country’s industrial development. It provides the building blocks for the meaningful take-off of any industrial revolution by empowering the middle-level manpower to propel productivity levels and quality in the productive sectors of a country,” she said.

She said the government appreciated the support of the World Bank and DANIDA in committing $60 million to finance the SDF.

SDF journey

The Project Coordinator and Head of the Council for Technical Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) Project Support Unit, Mr Matthew Dally, said from only six grantees with a grant value of $750,000 in 2012, over 400 institutions had benefited from grants totalling $39 million.

“At the COTVET Project Support Unit, where the SDF is managed, we have worked tirelessly over the years to ensure the existence of a robust and transparent grants-making system that assures confidence and value for money,” he said.

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