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Pwalugu Tomato factory can process all tomatoes in Ghana in 3 months – Expert

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Northern Star Tomato Factory at Pwalugu in the Upper East Region could process all tomatoes produced in Ghana within a space of three months; should the facility operate at full capacity.

This is because of the operational capacity of the factory along with the limited total amount of tomatoes produced in the country.

This is according to Agriculture Policy Expert, Emmanuel Wullingdool. He said this when he spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show today, Wednesday, June 9, 2022.

“Some studies were done which point to the fact that if you take tomatoes that are produced in Ghana, if the tomato factory in Pwalugu was in full swing, the studies showed that it could actually process all the tomatoes that are produced in Ghana and the factory would be idle. It can do all of that within three months.”

“This is because what is available [tomatoes] would not be enough. That is if that factory is in full operation,” he said.

Mr. Wullingdool made these comments to back his earlier argument that the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) should be restructured to accommodate smallholder farmers as well as commercial farmers.

The current structure of the PFJ focuses on increasing production for smallholder farmers and not commercial farmers. As such, all subsidies are directed to smallholder farmers scattered across the country.

Mr. Wullingdool opined that if a hybrid system is implemented, while smallholder farmers produce for subsistence, commercial farmers could produce to feed industries.

“You cannot rely on smallholder farmers alone. You will need if you are to have such factories working. You will need people that can produce in large quantities to feed the industries. You will also need to support smallholder farmers to produce to be able to also deal with food security issues,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Trade and Industry is expected to make a public statement on the state of the Northern Star Tomato Factory in Pwalugu in the Upper East Region soon. While it is unclear the exact day the statement would be made, the statement is expected to give clarity on the current state of the facility and all the processes that have been undertaken to revitalise the factory.

It would be recalled that Friday, November 19, 2022, the Upper East Regional Director of Business Resource Centre (BRC), Michael Abogoro, speaking on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show explained that plans are far advanced to ensure the operationalization of the said factory this year.

He said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) with support from the African Development Bank (AfDB) had sought the services of a transaction advisor to ensure the revitalization of the Northern Star Tomato Factory in Pwalugu in the Upper East Region. The Advisor had undertaken all feasibility studies while financial considerations have been settled and added that all things being equal, the Northern Star Tomato Factory will be operational this year.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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