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Business News Sat, 28 Feb 2004

West African sub region patronise Ghana's GRATIS products

Tema, Feb. 28, GNA -- The GRATIS FOUNDATION (GF) has made in-roads in the sub-region, especially in Sierra Leone and Liberia for the export of its machinery and inputs for agro processing for food security to boost their economy.

The two West African countries had shown interest in the products, such as farming implements and food processing machines and had placed orders for their purchase, Mrs Caroline Tsikata, Marketing Manager of GRATIS told the Ghana News Agency in an Interview on Friday. She said following the high demand for the products the GF, through the Ghana High Commission is arranging to get an agent who would sell the products in order to cease the practice of individuals travelling down to buy them.

She said the demand for the products followed an exhibition mounted in Freetown in 2002 of which GRATIS was the only foreign participating country.

Orders have been placed for items such as cassava mashed/gari sifter, corn mill, diesel/petrol engines, double screw press, groundnut shelling machines and fermentation rack. Others are mobile cassava grater, conventional cassava grater, rice mill, multi-crop thresher and roasting pan. The rest are palm oil press, palm fruit digester, saw dust stove, and hammer mill.

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The availability of the machines on their local market would facilitate the processing of farm produce and help reduce post harvest losses, improve security and create employment, especially for women and the youth.

In 2002, the Foundation shipped gari/rice processing equipment to Liberia and this followed more request, she stated. Sierra Leone and Liberia had suffered civil war for years and wish to return to normalcy.

In Ghana, GRATIS has since 1987 manufactured various equipment for sanitation and agro processing, among others and trained over 6,000 people annually to equip them with the requisite technical, vocational and entrepreneurial skills for self-employment.

GRATIS FOUNDATION was established in 1987 with the mandate to promote small-scale industrialisation in Ghana and has since established Regional Technology Transfer Centres (RTTCs) in nine regions. The aim is to transfer appropriate technologies to small-scale industrialists through training, manufacturing and the supply of tools, plant and equipment.

Source: GNA
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