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Industries Must Consider Using Solar Energy – Spio-Garbrah   
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Mr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Minister for Trade and Industry, has observed that in the midst of the country’s energy crisis it is prudent for smaller industries -- particularly those into agro processing -- to consider other available energy alternatives like solar energy.

He said: “In a country where we are bedevilled with electricity supply challenges, food processing companies can decide not to depend solely on the national grid but explore solar panels to help stay in business. Food processing such as palm oil and cassava gritting can be powered by solar energy.”

Mr. Spio-Garbrah said this after he was conducted around EKA Food Processing Company Limited at Abesim near Sunyani during his recent familiarisation tour of the Brong Ahafo Region.

The EKA Food Processing Company depends principally on solar power, especially for its vegetable driers. The facility is therefore free from the agony that most industries have to endure as a result of the tumbling energy situation in the country. The Trade Minister commended management of the company for the initiative, saying: “Your power supply success story is worth emulating”.

Touching on other issues, he said the Trade Ministry has conceived the idea of collaborating with other relevant stakeholders to promote the culture of industrialisation among the youth population in senior high schools. The Trade & Industry Ministry is working assiduously with the Education Ministry, Youth and Sports Ministry as well as the private sector and NGOs to develop industrial models for students of SHSs, he stated.

“Industry is not an extraordinary and complicated process. It requires small machinery and minimal training with some little financial support. It is against this backdrop the Ministry with support from the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) is making advances in inculcating industrial studies, specifically food processing, into the young generation,” he emphasised.

He pointed out that Ghana is much endowed with vast arable lands with huge potential to produce the needed raw materials to revolutionise the food processing industry, and therefore it’s important to train the necessary personnel to take up that mantle. “Anywhere I see bush I get upset, because any country that does not take control of its land cannot pride itself as a developing or developed country.”

Mr. Spio-Garbrah stressed the need for players in the food processing industry to take advantage of government’s supportive polices and interventions such as the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF) and the Rural Enterprise Project to enjoy the breeze of thriving businesses.
Source: B&FT

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