President John Evans Atta Mills on Friday inaugurated Olam Wheat Mills in Tema, valued at $55 million, and pledged Government’s commitment to the development of the agricultural sector.
Calling for more investment in agro- processing and other sectors of the economy, the President said his administration would work with hands in glove with Olam, and other investors with genuine interests in the process of building the promised Better Ghana.
Olam Ghana, a subsidiary of the Singapore based Olam International, has a 15-year track record in the country as a major supply chain manager of agricultural products.
The plant is situated at the Kpone Industrial Area and has eight large silos for the storage of wheat, two warehouses, and spacious loading grounds.
The factory, comprising a laboratory facility will achieve annual flour production of 115,000 metric tonnes within three years, which would make it Ghana’s third largest flour mill.
Olam Ghana is also engaged in other social support programmes in the areas of credit to farmers, scholarship schemes and health support systems.
President Mills expressed Government’s appreciation for Olams efforts in the agricultural and industrial sector, noting that such investment is helping to strengthen the backbone of the Ghanaian economy.
The President said the company has given credit and farm accessories to some Ghanaian farmers, which he described as a manifestation of its interest of the growth of the agriculture sector and the strengthening of the national economy.
The company is also venturing into cashew processing and pasta manufacturing, the President noted, adding that the corporate entity has also been in involved in checking cocoa smuggling.
“Such a company is worth supporting, because it has our interest at heart,” President Mills said.
The Global Chief Executive of Olams, Mr Sunny George Verhges, praised Ghana for her democratic and economic credentials, promising increased investment of the company in the country.
He said the company is establishing and supporting raw materials plantations such as oil palm, wheat and rice across Africa and expanding processing of flour products.
Mr Amit Agrawal, Olams Country Manager said, ‘the Olam way is achieved whenever we are able to add value to business.
“We are very much committed to making meaningful impact in the area of our business and so we are always on the lookout for opportunities to make significant difference in the industry. We believe this wheat milling facility would contribute significantly to Ghana’s food security plans, create employment and generate no less than GH¢20 million per year as government revenue through taxes and duties.”
He described Africa as key to Olam’s business and within Africa, adding that Ghana stands out as a highly strategic component in our company’s growth plans.
“We continue to look for profitable opportunities to invest in the agriculture and agro-processing sectors of the Ghanaian economy,” he said.
Ms Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry commended the company for its shared values and welcomed the increase of the company’s capital in Ghana.
The company is engaged in export of agricultural commodities including cocoa, cashew, sheanuts and wood products. It also imports and distributes rice, sugar, dairy products, tomato paste and edible oil through its extensive country wide sales network.
It is also among the country’s leading licensed buying companies for cocoa, sourcing cocoa from a network from more than 1000 suppliers and delivering to Ghana Cocoa Board. GNA