Mr David Thorton, the Managing Director, Newmont Africa has inaugurated the Asutifi Processing and Services Center (APSC), at $4 million to boost the income earnings of more than 1,000 farmers within the Ahafo South project of the mine.
Besides the processing of chilli pepper and ginger, the facility, situated at Subriso, a community along the Acherensua-Hwidiem road in the Ahafo Region, would add value to every step of the agricultural value chain, from production to market.
Additionally, it will also provide a reliable market for more than 80 farmer-based organisations, ensuring stability and reducing post-harvest losses, introducing modern methods of crop production, thereby attracting youth into agriculture.
The Newmont Ahafo South Mine in the Asutifi North District of the Region in collaboration with the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) revamped the defunct APSC to transform the lives of the farmers in the mine’s operational area.
Speaking at a ceremony held at the premises of the facility at Subriso, Mr Thorton said Newmont recognized the importance of building strong relations with its host communities to “sustain our business and return value to our various stakeholders, including the communities that host of operations”.
“We are also aware and mindful that our mining activities are impacted and have always remained committed to mitigating these impacts through livelihood improvement programmes, in addition to paying fair and just compensation”, he indicated.
One of the livelihood improvement interventions for the project-affected-people is the Agricultural Improvement and Land Access Programme (AILAP), which supports impacted farmers to get access to arable lands, seedlings and other agricultural extension services to continue farming after compensation.
Describing the APSC as a game-changing intervention for improved food security and job creation opportunity, Mr Thorton acknowledged and appreciated the contributions of the company’s partners, GIZ, for buying into the vision and providing critical and invaluable technical support towards the design and implementation of the programme.
The APSC, Mr Alex Kofi Anin, the General Manager of the Newmont Ahafo Mine, explained it was a testament of the mine’s unwavering commitment to supporting agriculture and food security in the host communities.
“Recognizing the challenges faced by farmers, particularly post-harvest losses and market instability, we embarked on this journey back 2013 in collaboration with the GIZ”, he stated, describing the facility as a cornerstone of Newmont’s Local Economic Diversification Support LEDS) programme to add value to agricultural products.
Mr Annin emphasised the mine’s commitment to diversify the local economy and empower farmers to improve their lives, saying the “APSC embodies that philosophy, providing farmers with the tools and opportunities to earn substantial value for their hard work”.