Agricultural and processing machinery, TIAST Group and Stanbic Bank on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding to finance buyers of cassava processing equipment to boost the sector in the country.
The Chief Business Officer, TIAST Group, Madam Lisa Hao, signed on behalf of the Group while Mr Alhassan Andani, the Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic Bank signed for the Bank.
The strategic cooperation between the companies will provide financial assistance to cassava entrepreneurs for 2 to 5 years of equipment finance lease service, and a complete closed-loop financial support service.
The agreement would help entrepreneurs to design capacity, match the standardized production line equipment, to provide spare parts and consumables supply, standardized training of local technicians and off-take service.
Madam Hao said cassava processing was an important part of the industrial chain because the industry could encourage more farmers to plant cassava and expand production capacity to have pricing power in the international market.
She said the Company had set up two bridges for technical research and investment and three cradles for talent training including; cassava cultivation, processing technical services and international trading practice to develop the cassava industrial chain.
Madam Hao urged prospective entrepreneurs to take advantage of the opportunity to expand their businesses and maximise the needed returns.
Mr Andani said the collaboration was a perfect approach to support farming in the country, especially in cassava processing with the required equipment and financial assistance.
He said agriculture employed about 70 per cent of the population, but the country had witnessed high poverty index over the years, saying the agreement between the two companies would stimulate economic growth in the cassava sector.
“The collaboration is a better opportunity for the country to replicate the gains of the Cocoa Board. We must work to ensure that agriculture is resilient and competitive on the international market”, he said.
Director, Office of Planting for Food and Jobs, Ministry of Food and Industry Mr Richard Twumasi, said the partnership complemented the Government’s resolve and commitment to fully exploit all opportunities offered by the ongoing agricultural flagship interventions.
Mr Twumasi said the partnership supported the agenda of one district one factory and assured of Government’s commitment to continue to provide varieties, which had significant industrial and export potentials.
He said the Food Crops Production module of the Planting for Food and Jobs campaign had been developed to improve access to both input-and output markets of farmers to increase crop yields and income.
The Chief Director, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr Patrick Nimo, was optimistic that the partnership would modernise the entire cassava value chain to improve the sector and be competitive in the global market.