The European Union funded, “Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana” (GrEEn) Project, implemented by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation in Ghana, has commissioned five sustainable businesses in the Western Region.
This is to help the selected SMEs operating in the Green economic space to become more economical sustainable, and also venture into the international community for growth purposes.
The first of the commissioning started at Tarkwa, where Joana Arthur, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mending Papers Company Limited, a paper and package making company that processes farm waste such as plantain and banana stems, corn husks and other produce into paper bags and office materials unveiled a new production site with a solar dryer, a borehole, and new equipment to scale up production.
The company, by utilising innovative recycling techniques and sustainable materials, would reduce waste, conserve natural resources, and promote a circular economy.
Ms Arthur was one of the five businesses from the Region to receive a matching grant of 175,000 cedis from the 2021 GrEEn Innovation Challenge to create jobs and increase production from 50 paper bags to 300 paper bags.
“I could not have achieved this great feat without the intervention of the GrEEn Project and the EU…my dream is to eventually end plastic waste in the country, reason I came up with these eco-friendly alternatives of manufacturing my bags”, the CEO said.
In Tamso in Tarkwa, 34-year-old Joel Antanah, the owner of Antanah Farms, an integrated farm that is nursing poultry birds, catfish and tilapia fingerlings, pigs, and crops such as maize, cassava and plantain, commissioned an odour-free piggery system using a process known as, Indigenous Micro Organism (IMO) technology and sawdust.
Now, the company would decompose the waste from the pigs to be converted into compost and used as organic fertilizer for his crop.
His grant award of GHS 100,000 from EU enabled him to own fishpond and pellets.
Mr Anatanah said, ” I decided to use saw dust as bedding for the pigs because of the environmental impacts of burning. When you go to a sawmill, the saw dust is heaped and burned, some are also washed into the gutters, and it causes harm to the environment. The saw dust bedding has also contributed to the neatness of my pigsty. There is no bad smell when you visit my farm, and we can use the waste for fertilizer”
Meanwhile, the A.A Community Spring Water at Yiwabra commissioned a solar-powered water production system funded by the European Union with GHS 80,000 and has scaled up the business and now supplies water to many communities in the Aowin Municipality.
Ms Naana Yaa Manu runs Waterforce Ventures, producers of organic soap, commissioned a new production site with increased capacity from 20 pieces of soap to 1,800 weekly supplies from a GHS 95,000 grant provided to her as part of the GrEEn Project.
The company now has an Exporter’s Certificate to do business with the globe.
In Anto in the Shama district, Roland Rice processing factory owned by Mr Jesse Roland Prah, was opened.
The company under the GrEEn Innovation Challenge received a EUR 25,000 grant from the European Union, to build the new rice processing facility on a two-acre land.
The processing facility has a rice mill, de-stoner, a rice de-husker, polisher and a pelletiser machine to convert the rice husk into feed for pigs.
Ms Deborah Smallie Lomotey, the Marketing and Communication Advisor on the Project said all five, aside from the grant, also received 6 months business advisory services under the GrEEn Incubation Programme.
The GrEEn Incubation Programme is implemented in partnership with hub partners including; Duapa Werkspace, Uhub from the University of Mines and Technology-Tarkwa and Social Entrepreneurship (SE) Hub Ghana which targets sustainable start-ups and early-stage businesses to provide business advisory support services, market access and linkages as well as financial support.
She said entrepreneurs who completed the GrEEn Incubation Programme were eligible for matching grants of up to EUR 25,000 and currently, 27 green entrepreneurs have received matching grants under the challenge.
The SNV Netherlands Development Organisation is a not-for-profit international development organisation that makes a lasting difference in the lives of people living in poverty by helping them raise incomes and access basic services. SNV specialises in three sectors: agri-food, energy and water systems and is present in over 25 countries with presence in Ghana since 1992.
The Communication Officer said, the Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn) project is a four-year action from the European Union, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).
The project aimed at creating greater economic and employment opportunities for youth, women and returning migrants by promoting and supporting sustainable, green businesses and providing employable skills training to youth job seekers in two selected regions in Ghana: Ashanti and Western Regions in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development.
It is under the European Union Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF) for Africa with a total contribution of EUR 20,600,000.