A rice processing factory at Anto in the Shama district of the Western Region has been inaugurated by SNV Ghana under the European Union (EU) GrEEn Project.
The factory is on a two-acre land and equipped with a rice mill, de-stoner, a rice de-husker, polisher and a pelletiser machine to convert the rice husk into feed for pigs.
The rice processing factory is expected to create jobs for youth in the district, as well as provide local rice growers access to a mill so as to improve rice production in the region.
As part of GrEEn’s objectives of supporting green businesses and entrepreneurs, SNV Ghana rolled out the GrEEn Innovation Challenge in 2021 to award a matching grant of up to €25,000 per SME for businesses that have innovative products and services in SNV’s three sectors: agriculture, renewable energy and energy-efficiency, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
Jesse Roland Prah, a rice farmer and producer of Roland Rice, was among 12 SMEs in the Ashanti and Western Regions who received a matching grant of €25,000.
Jesse Prah Enterprise received six-months of free business advisory support from SNV Ghana under the GrEEn Incubation Programme facilitated by Duapa Werkspace, a business hub in Takoradi.
Genevieve Parker-Twum, Senior Adviser-Incubation and Acceleration at SNV said: “Jesse, has really done well; he took all that he has been taught and put it to good use. From the EU and SNV Ghana, we say congratulations to Roland Rice”.
Mr. Prah, Chief Executive Officer of Jesse Prah Enterprise (Roland Enterprise) said: “I had the zeal and determination that this facility must be completed to serve the people of the Western Region and beyond.
“We have the finest and most nutritious rice in the country, and with this facility production is going to increase and encourage the youth to invest in agriculture.”
He expressed gratitude to SNV Ghana and the EU for their support.
Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional Minister, said government believes in production, and if the private sector is supported it can go far.
“If Ghana is to be competitive, then the private sector needs to grow; the elite we have should be part of the solution and not the problem – Look out for the people’s needs and provide, rather than complaining that there’s no jobs in the country”, he said.
He commended Roland Rice for its determination and ensuring that the factory became productive.
“If you have been able to do this, then within the next five years you should be able to build two more factories to employ the youth in this area and encourage the workers to support the CEO to be successful,” he added.
Ebenezer Dadzie, District Chief Executive of Shama, noted that the private sector is the engine of growth and encouraged the youth to venture into small and medium enterprises to get needed support and start-up capital.
He pointed out that the factory will help the district’s local economy to grow.