The Managers of Tamanaa Rice Processing Factory at Nasia in the North East Region say the company may be forced to lay off workers and reduce production in the coming days.

They explain that, so long as government continues to delay its promise to support the company under the 1D1F initiative they will be compelled to take the needed action to save it from a total shutdown.

The Tamanaa Company Ltd, located in the West Mamprusi Municipality, began operations in 2015 and works with about 4,000 out-growers, 40 per cent of them being women and located in four Assemblies, namely West Mamprusi, Savelugu, and East Mamprusi Municipalities and Mamprugu-Moaduri Districts.

Although, women contribute 60 -80% of agricultural labour, they have limited access to productive farm lands, making them financially incapable to support their families and increasing their vulnerability.

Already without any formal education and life skills, the women, mostly the young ones, migrate to south in search of a sure source of income by carrying loads for a fee.

With the coming of the Tamanaa Rice processing factory however, the story has changed. These women have now been engaged in descent jobs.

Hawa Abdul Rahmani, is 50yrs old. She has been working with the company since its inception. But for the company, she would have been jobless and probably accused witchcraft.

“Me for example, we started it. If it hadn’t been for the work, my kids wouldn’t have been educated. But today, my kids are in Nalerigu NMTC. So we thank God. And event these days, children don’t go for kayayei because the work has been blessful to us,” Madam Hawa Rahmani said.

Dozens of teenage girls and young men are also engaged in various fields in this rice processing company, some as parboilers, processors and warehouse carriers, where they earn regular wages.

30-year old Tahidu Mugeez dropped out of school because his parents were too poor to take care of his education. After years of struggle to find a decent source, he now works here as a carrier. He is happy about the opportunity.

“I have achieved a lot because since this company was sited here, after the raining season, we usually go to the South to make life. It’s not always easy. Things have been difficult. But since this company has been sited here, we come her to work and at the end of the day, you have something to write home about. And then your guardians too would be happy with you,” he said. 

The Tamanaa Rice factory are producers of the Nasia Star Rice already in the market also providing permanent engagement for several teenage mothers as sales girls particularly in the Nasia town. At the busy Nasia toll booth on the Tamale – Bolga highway, the sale girls setup their wares.

“I was a fish seller before this company was set up here. During that time, because of lack of demand of fish, I sometimes leave to South for Kayayei but since this company was brought here, I have stopped that,” one of the employees at the factory.

“The work we usually do is to go to Kumasi or Accra that is Kayayei mostly to be able to take care of our kids and ourselves. But with the comments of this company, it has been helpful to us and our families,” another employee at the factory.

The company started operations with just a 40 tonnes of rice mill but has now been able to established 250 tonnes mill bringing its production capacity to nearly 300 tonnes per day. The project aimed to produce more rice to meet local demand to stop the importation of rice, which is more than 400 million dollars per year.

Chief Executive Officer of the company, Alhaji Saibu Ibrahim, said the company is in a crucial state and calls on government for help.

According to him, the impact of Covid-19 has not spared the company its share of challenges with possible massive redundancy and suspension of operations in the coming days due to government’s delayed support under its One District One Factory initiative.