The Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), one of the leading universal banks in the country, has recently partnered with the OVCF to revamp the citrus industry.
Through this partnership, ADB gives financial support to Central Citrus Limited to develop and cultivate over 3000 acres of abandoned citrus farms located in the Central Region-Cape Coast.
It is estimated that the company would generate an income of about GHC250 million annually.
This support by ADB is expected to go a long way to create more sustainable jobs and 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 Fruits and Juices Factory to make sure their product is used to blend the Eku tropical varieties to enhance its taste.
This support by ADB means the bank has bought into the vision of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, to take off from the shelves most of these foreign products and bring in Ghanaian products.
Ghana has the two most relevant sources of oranges coming after South Africa, which is a prudent venture that ADB has signed onto.
The decision by ADB to go into this venture would lead to the creation of more jobs, promoting processing, reducing importation, and winning the cedi off from unnecessary pressure.
The enclave has over 75 thousand acres of citrus, and with support from ADB, it would scale up economic activities sharply.
The average citrus farmer has abandoned the farm because of poor revenue, insect infestation, plant diseases, and unproductive work processes, which often hamper cultivation. Many of the seedlings are pest-ridden, making them useless for further planting.
This frustration usually makes the farmers switch over to the cultivation of rubber and cassava.
For the past ten years, most citrus farms have been abandoned as the importation of finished products has outweighed the country’s processing opportunities.
ADB’s financial support is 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 flavours 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 rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre (non-starch polysaccharides) that are essential for normal growth and development and overall nutritional well-being.
Source: Elorm Desewu, Contributor