Dr John Kofi Mensah, Managing Director of the Agricultural Development Bank has called on Ghanaians to patronize made in Ghana products for the sustenance of government's One District, One Factory (1D1F) initiative.
He said the success of the initiative would largely depend on the patronage of the products produced by the factories established.
"The more we patronize products locally manufactured by factories under the 1D1F initiative, the more the factories will grow, provide more employment opportunities and put the country on the trajectory of becoming self-sufficient," he added.
Commending the establishment of the US$16,000,000.00) Weddi Africa Tomato Factory at Domfete, in the Berekum West District of the Bono Region, Dr. Kofi Mensah said the Bank provided the loan facility for the purchase of raw materials, key operational assets and also in-grower for the planting of the required tomatoes to feed the factory.
According to him, available statistics indicated that Ghana was currently the seventh largest importer of Tomatoes paste in the world and the establishment of the tomatoes factory and its consumption must help curb the importation and save the country foreign exchange.
"ADB has been a key financial partner to the IDIF Initiative and has so far disbursed about GHS 100 Million to 17 Companies majority in the agricultural sector," he said.
The ADB Managing Director reiterated the Bank's readiness to support Outgrower Farmers supplying raw materials to factories operating under governments' 1D1F initiative in order for the factories to have adequate supply of raw materials to operate.
Dr Mensah said ADB's continuous support towards government's agribusiness related initiatives was a testament of the Bank's commitment to fulfilling its mandate of Agribusiness Financing.
The Weddi Africa Tomato Processing Factory is a tomato paste processing company that has the capacity to process 40,000 tonnes of fresh tomatoes a year into tomato concentrate and tomato mix, which translated into 720 crates of fresh tomatoes per shift per day.
The factory also has a 500-tonne cold room to hold fresh tomatoes and established a nucleus 2,400-acre tomato farm, with a tomato out-grower farmers association made up of 2,000 registered and trained farmers from the Tano North District in the Ahafo Region and Berekum in the Bono Region.