Communities such as Fetentaa, Domfete, Jinijini, Koraso in Berekum West District have carved a niche for themselves in the production of tomatoes in the country. The venture is creating a significant number of jobs for the youth in the district, hence if the government pays close attention to the area, it could be developed to become an astute industry and eventually a panacea to the rising unemployment situation in the region and the country at large.
With the right investment, the growing industry could curb the high cost of importation of tomatoes into the country. It’s on this backdrop that a private investor, Mr Yaw Boahen, has started a Tomato Processing factory which is located at Domfete near Jinijini in the Berekum West District, Bono Region to provide a ready market for the farmers who grow the vegetable. His efforts have been recognized by the government and the company is to benefit from the One District One Factory Policy (1D1F) in a public-private partnership agreement to scale up the tomatoes business.
Speaking to the Director of the project, Joseph Diawuo says the project is about 75% complete and it is expected to be completed by March 2020.
Joseph Diawuo pointed that to ensure availability of tomatoes for the factory all year round, they are doing a demonstration farm to get the best variety of tomatoes for the farmers and their farms to feed the factory. Aside from that, they have also contacted out-growers to grow more tomatoes to feed the factory. Again, they have drilled boreholes and connected to the farms to ensure availability of water all year round for the tomatoes farmers. He hinted that the company has also acquired about fifty acres of land for tomatoes production to ensure the availability of the raw material always.
The chairman of the tomato farmers in the Berekum area, Mr Stephen Oduro said the factory has come at the right time since it would ensure that there will be a market for their tomatoes to ease them from the stress they go through looking for buyers. He added that they will expand the sizes of their farms this year.
The one 1D1F National Coordinator, Mrs Gifty Ohene Konadu visited the site on Tuesday, 10th September 2019 to inspect the progress of work and was very impressed and applauded the CEO and the workers for the tremendous job they are doing. She said she is looking forward to seeing the completion of the project and commencement of production of processed tomatoes.