A Rice Processing Centre, has been inaugurated at Jantong-Daboashie in the East Gonja District of the Northern Region to help farmers to process their rice for improved income.
The GH¢ 216,446 facility, which is to contribute to the reduction of unemployment among the youth and women in the District, has the capacity to process about 100,000 kilogrammes of paddy rice per day.
The facility was provided by the Presbyterian Farmers’ Training and Child Development Programme, (PFT – CDP) a non-governmental organisation, under its Youth and Women Economic Empowerment through Skills Training and Enterprise Development project.
It is being funded by the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada.
Reverend Dr Solomon Sumani Sule-Saa, Chairperson of the Northern Presbytery, who spoke during the inauguration of the facility at Jantong-Daboashie, expressed hope that the project would bring relief to the teaming youth and women, who were the backbone of economic transformation in the area.
So far, 80 youth and 40 women have been trained in good agronomic practices and rice processing in the area.
Prior to the provision of the facility, young and adult women carried parboiled rice on their heads and walked for more than 30 kilometres to mill in Tamale while other rice farmers sold paddy rice at cheap prices to middlemen.
Reverend Sule-Saa said opportunities abounded in the District and advised the residents not to migrate to other places in search of better conditions.
Meanwhile, PFT – CDP has also formed 45 Village Savings and Loans Associations in 15 communities in the District where more than GH? 156,000 have been mobilized.
Plans are also on course to roll out Youth Savings and Loans Associations in the area to amongst others mobilise resources for investment.
PFT – CDP also intends to add groundnut shelling machines and subsequently a shea butter extraction plant in the area to boost economic activities.
Mr George Baiden, Country Director of CCFC assured of continued partnership with PFT – CDP to roll out other innovative interventions for the benefit of all.
Alhaji Abdul-Karim Yahaya, District Coordinating Director expressed the District Assembly’s support for the initiative, saying it would help improve incomes of the people.
A representative of the Paramount Chief of Jantong expressed gratitude to PFT – CDP and CCFC for the provision of the facility, which would enable residents to add value to rice produced.