By Richard Adorsu-
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Accra GHANA – The Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), one of the leading universal banks in Ghana has partnered the OVCF with the aim of revamping the citrus industry.
Through this partnership, ADB is giving financial support to the Central Citrus Limited to develop and cultivate the over 3000 acres of abandon citrus farms located in Cape Coast in the Central region.
It is estimated that the company would generate an income of about ¢250 million annually.
This support from the bank is expected to go a long way to create more sustainable jobs and also cut down on the importation of fruit juice into the country.
The Central Citrus Limited would be getting a direct off-take from the Ekumfi Fruit Juice Factory to make sure their produce is used to blend the Eku tropical varieties to enhance its taste.
Ghana has the two most suitable sources of oranges, coming after South Africa, making the venture a prudent one that the bank has signed onto.
The decision by the bank to support the programme would lead to the creation of more jobs, promoting processing, reducing importation and winning the cedi off from unnecessary pressure for Ghana.
The enclave has over 75,000 acres of citrus and with the support from the bank, it would scaled up economic activities sharply.
In the past, the average citrus farmer abandoned the farm because of poor revenue coupled with insect infestation and plant diseases, together with unproductive work processes, which often hamper cultivation. For the past 10 years, most citrus farms have been abandoned as the importation of finished products have outweighed the processing opportunities in the country.
ADB’s financial support is described as timely to help improve the quality of citrus production and increase sustainable income for all actors, along the citrus value chain.
Citrus fruits have long been valued as part of a nutritious and tasty diet. The flavors provided by citrus are among the most preferred in the world, and it is increasingly evident that citrus not only tastes good, but is also good for people.
It is well established that citrus and citrus products are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre (non-starch polysaccharides) that are essential for normal growth and development and overall nutritional well-being.
For New Africa Business News Richard Adorsu Reports, Africa Correspondent