Kedan CEO, Eric Kissi demonstrating the bagging process for processed maize at newly launched Maize Factory
Kedan Limited, an agribusiness operating in Tumu in the Upper West Region of Ghana, has inaugurated a 7000 metric tonnes per annum maize factory that will produce maize flour, fortified maize flour, maize grits and maize bran for local and West African regional markets.
Kedan’s processing equipment and factory was co-funded by Ukaid’s West Africa Food Markets Programme (WAFM), a project that co-invests in innovative agribusinesses to strengthen their smallholder supplier networks and national and regional markets.
Kedan Limited, established in 2014, started as an agricultural production, commodity aggregation and trading business. With time the company has ventured into processing and now supports over 1,500 smallholder farmers in Northern Ghana with farm inputs, tractor services, training and extension services to increase the volumes of raw maize produced. At full operation, the factory will provide over 50 direct jobs and also give over 50 part time jobs as well. The collaboration will benefit over 2000 smallholder maize farmers as the factory will also serve as a ready, reliable and sustainable market source for the maize produced by smallholder farmers in the Northern parts of Ghana.
Mr. Eric Kissi, CEO of Kedan Limited recounted the partnership between his company and the WAFM that has culminated in the launch of a new maize processing factory. He said “the factory set up is a 50/50 collaboration between Kedan Limited and DFID/UKaid funded WAFM. He added that “the factory is currently operational and also producing fortified maize flour to curb malnutrition among the vulnerable population especially children under five years and their breast feeding mothers in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria.
The increased maize production and value addition undertaken by Kedan through collaboration with WAFM will improve food security and income levels of farmers and consumers in the Sahelian as well as other countries in West Africa.
Dr. Terence Lacey, WAFM’s Team Leader stated that WAFM supported the setting up and expansion of the Kedan maize milling operation “to boost cross-border trade in processed and fortified maize products especially to Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria, bringing revenue to Ghana’s economy as well as helping to combat regional food insecurity within the ECOWAS region, especially in South-East Niger and North-East Nigeria.”
Sample of Kedan’s products on display at the launch
Dr. Lacey further added that Kedan’s production of fortified foods will help Ghanaian farmers and processing enterprises to meet the expanding needs of urban consumers, especially busy mothers needing to supply nutritious fast food to their children; and also the needs of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and others affected by a combination of climate change and insecurity.
The launch of Kedan’s maize factory, according to WAFM, places Ghana in a unique position. Dr. Lacey stated that “Ghana is now helping to present alternatives at ECOWAS level about international emergency food aid shipments by opening up new commercial markets whereby West African farmers and firms can supply alternative food products to address food shortages which is in line with the Government of Ghana Policy of moving beyond international aid to promote private sector-led regional agricultural development.”
The new factory will produce fortified maize meal, maize grits and maize bran as a way of creating a consistent market for raw maize in the region. The maize bran will used as feed for the animal industry.