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Ghana: Newmont’s $4m processing facility in Ahafo Region aids over 1,000 farmers

Known as “the food basket of Ghana,” the Ahafo Region is renowned for its significant contribution to the country’s economy and food security. The region’s favorable soil type and rainfall pattern make it conducive for cultivating a diverse range of food and cash crops, attracting farmers involved in both subsistence and commercial farming.

Commercial agriculture in the Ahafo Region faces challenges, including limited access to ready markets and insufficient value-addition opportunities for perishable crops.

In 2013, Newmont, the operator of the Ahafo mine in the Ahafo Region and the Akyem mine in the Eastern Region, initiated the Asutifi Processing and Services Centre (APSC) in partnership with the German Development Cooperation. The center was established on a pilot basis to explore processing and marketing opportunities for agricultural produce in the region.

This followed comprehensive engagements with the beneficiary farmers and assessments to comprehend the agriculture value chain in the region and the potential opportunities within it.

Aligned with Newmont’s social performance strategy, focused on improving opportunities for residents in its host communities, especially youth and women, the APSC emerged as a key initiative to bolster livelihoods and generate sustainable employment in the Ahafo Region.

The APSC stands as a pivotal initiative within Newmont’s comprehensive Local Economic Diversification (LED) program. This broader initiative involves collaborative efforts with development agencies, government entities, and impact investors to pinpoint business opportunities, foster job creation, and advance sustainable development within Newmont’s host communities.

Since its inception in 2013, the facility has faced challenges, hindering the realization of its full potential. Key issues include limited access to raw materials for the factory and a lack of established markets for the processed products.

In 2018, Newmont conducted thorough feasibility studies to assess the viability of expanding the facility, focusing on processed chili pepper and ginger, ensuring the presence of sufficient market demand. The positive outcome of the assessment justified Newmont’s substantial investment to scale up the project, creating employment opportunities for local farmers and those involved in the agriculture value chain.

In December 2023, the expanded processing and services centre, a US$4 million facility, was completed. Established with support from the German Development Cooperation, the APSC facility marked a significant milestone in Newmont’s continuous efforts to create value and improve lives through sustainable and responsible mining.

With an increased capacity and broader scope, the APSC is anticipated to substantially decrease post-harvest losses and enhance food security in the Asutifi area. The APSC benefits over 80 farmer-based organizations and approximately 1,000 chilli pepper and ginger farmers through an out-grower scheme, ensuring them higher and more consistent income.

Newmont, a global leader in gold production and a producer of copper, silver, zinc, and lead, manages two mines in Ghana – the Ahafo South Mine in the Ahafo Region and the Akyem Mine in the Eastern Region. Additionally, the Ahafo North project, a new mine, is currently in the construction phase in the Ahafo Region.

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