Workers at the newly-commissioned Juaso Women Palm Oil Processing Centre have been challenged to maintain the facility well in order for posterity to benefit from it.
The Gh¢740,000 facility located in the Asante Akyem South Municipal of the Ashanti region, was on Friday commissioned by the MTN Ghana Foundation and it is expected to provide employment for more than 50 women in the Juaso, Bogu, Banso and adjoining communities.
As part of measures to further economically empower and build the capacity of the women, MTN Ghana engaged the National Board Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) to train them on safe and best extraction practices and modern-day trends of business management.
The state-of-the-art Juaso Women Palm Oil Processing is fitted with a fruit reception, fruit steamer, screw press, clarifying tank, store, kids’ restroom, spare room and washrooms.
Speaking to Ultimate Business after the official commissioning, Chief Executive Officer of MTN, Selorm Adadevoh urged the workers to let the project remain a legacy for generations yet unborn to equally take advantage of.
“We didn’t only build the facility, we thought a lot about maintenance and sustainability. The partnership with NBSSI is an example of continuing support; how do the women involved continue to develop skills and also expand on what we started?”
“We’re also working very closely with Nana Juasohene which is important because we need the local community to want to continue to do this so that the future generations will also benefit from this project”, Mr. Adadevoh hinted.
He continued that: “Every project we invest in, it’s important for us to continue to see value from it, so this will not be an exception. We’ll still come and inspect the project ever so often to make sure that they’re using the facility well and it’s been maintained properly.”
“For every project, we look at the impact it will have on the community, which is the primary factor and obviously we look at the cost; but the cost is weighed against the benefit.”
“We looked at the health conditions and health risks not only to the women producing the oil but also to the children who school around this Gh¢740,000 facility. We take all of that into consideration.”
Also addressing the gathering, the Executive Director of NBSSI, Kosi Yankey charged the women to make the training given them worthwhile since it will go long way to help them cater for their families.
She commended MTN Ghana for the project, adding it tied in with the government’s strategy to reduce unemployment in the country.
Figures from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) indicates that Ghana currently produces 243,852 tons of palm oil and this is mainly done by small-scale farmers.
Other dignitaries including the Ashanti Regional Minister Simon Osei-Mensah, Member of Parliament for Asante Akyem South Kweku Asante, Municipal Chief Executive for Asante Akyem South Alexander Yaw Frimpong, National Co-ordinator for One-District-One Factory Gifty Ohene Konadu, MTN Ghana Foundation Board Member Madam Nabila Williams, top management of MTN Ghana and the traditional leadership, the clergy and security services all graced the occasion.
Established in 2007, the MTN Ghana Foundation drives the corporate social responsibility initiatives of the network.
The Foundation has over a decade dedicated its work to improving education, health and economic empowerment across communities in the country.
The Juaso Women Palm Oil Processing Centre is the 145th project embarked upon by the telecom giant in Ghana, MTN.
By: Ghana/Ultimatefmonline.com/106.9FM/Patricia Ama Bonsu