Maize farmers asked to ensure quality control in value chain
Madam Victoria Dzigbordi Akumpule, General Manager ofAssisi Farms Limited on Friday appealed to farmers to ensurequality control in the maize value chain process.She said quality assurance in the maize value chain would goa long way to improve consumer confidence in the product.
She suggested to farmers that quality control equipment couldbe used to clean the maize grains of all impurities.Madam Akumpule made the appeal when she made apresentation at a two-day Maize Value Chain Workshop at theUniversity of Ghana in Accra.
The workshop, dubbed: “Private-Public Partnership for theSustainable Intensification of Maize Production for the Crop’s Value Chain”, was organised by the West Africa Centre forCrop Improvement (WACCI) of the University of Ghana.
It is being attended by over 70 participants, comprised ofacademics, researchers, governmental and non-governmentalorganisations, farmers, farmer groups, market women as wellas manufacturers of agricultural products and equipment.
Key issues to be discussed include maize production,processing, transportation, storage and marketing.Madam Akumpule said Assisi Farms Ltd, located at Esukesein the Afram Plains District of the Eastern Region, startedwith the primary focus on maize production, and hadexpanded to include livestock production.
She said after two years of struggling to get the businessrunning, the challenge of selling the maize yields for the rightprice to recover costs, proved difficult resulting in the birth of Assisi Foods Limited.
She noted that in the first quarter of 2017, extensive researchinto maize processing initiated plans to set up a processingcompany to utilise the produce from the mother company to optimise cost recovery; saying; “What started as a supportsystem for Assisi Farms has now become the main business ofthe day”.
“Initially, Assisi Foods Ltd focused on the production of cornflour, and other breakfast items like ekuegbemi and oblayo.
That also proved very expensive to process with a lot of themaize going to waste as a by-product,” she said.
She said after researching into the sale of corn dough, whichwas one of the staple foods in Accra; “thus, Assisi Foods retails corn dough to the market that produces kenkey andbanku with customers based in areas like Accra central, Tema,Dansoman, Amasaman and Aburi”.