President Commissions Premium Foods under 1D1F
Parliament has so far, approved tax waivers to thirty-six (36) companies under the Government's flagship 1D1F programme. Total tax exemptions granted under the 1D1F amounts to GHC435.29 million. This was disclosed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at Kwaso in the Ejisu Municipality of the Ashanti region during the commissioning of Premium Foods Ltd (PFL) , a company under the 1D1F initiative.
According to the President, the main sectors that benefited from the exemptions were agro-processing, ceramics manufacturing, hardware manufacturing and vehicle assembling to mention but a few.The President therefore urged the company and other private sector operators to take advantage of the incentives under the 1D1F to expand their facilities or establish new facilities.
The Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon Alan Kyerematen, on his part, highlighted on the importance of agro-processing facilities such as Premium Foods and touched on the following among others:
- Enhanced agricultural productivity and increased farm household incomes;
- increased nutritional value and food security, through a reduction in food spoilage and wastage;
- Job creation for rural and urban youth;
- Production of fortified foods for vulnerable groups in society;
- Reduced importation of similar or foreign foods and conservation of foreign exchange
- Export to sub-Saharan countries as well the global market
The Minister also pointed out that, in Ashanti Region, out of the 43 Districts, there are currently 30 companies registered under the 1D1F Initiative in 24 districts. This implies that some of the districts have more than one flagship entity in the district.
In his welcome remarks, the Managing Director of Premium Foods Limited, Mr Tom Gambrah, said the company initially aimed to address unhygienic post-harvest handling of maize. He was proud that from the production of 2,000 metric tonnes of quality grain per year at it's inception, the company, today, is equipped to handle over 96,000 metric tonnes (about 2 million 50 kilogram bags), each year; and that every hour, 240 bags of grits and maize meal roll off the company's parallel processing lines.Registered brands of the company include LOVIT and MAIZOYA, which are fortified with 18 vitamins and minerals under the acclaimed independent OBAASIMA logo.
On job creation, Mr Gambrah revealed that by 2012, they had created 25,000, direct and indirect jobs; and that when the new plant reaches full capacity, they would have created 100,000 sustainable jobs in the value chain.The Company has had tremendous support from the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Canadian Government along its journey.
In 2016 under its Enhanced Nutrition and Value Chains (ENVAC) project, WFP decided to strengthen the capacity of PFL to be able to produce fortified blended foods of international standard.
The ENVAC project was funded through the generosity of the Government of Canada. The flexibility of the Canadian funding allowed WFP to give PFL USD2.5 million to purchase and install modern, large-scale, state-of-the-art food cereal processing equipment, to improve their production of fortified blended cereal-based foods. This equipment offers extrusion capabilities which provide benefits in terms of nutrients and a longer shelf life than the roasting method which was previously been used.
In October 2020, in the heat of the Covid-19 pandemic, WFP contracted a global independent food safety auditing firm to audit PFL’s food safety and Management System. PFL passed the audit following which WFP has placed an order for an initial 600 metric tonnes of fortified cereal-based-foods/super cereal (400,000 sachets of the 1.5mt) for its programmes in West and Central Africa, which are saving lives of many vulnerable people.