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The Agricultural Development Bank, (ADB), one of the leading universal banks in the country has recently partnered the OVCF with the aim of revamping the citrus industry.
Through this partnership, ADB is giving financial support to the Central Citrus Limited to develop and cultivate the over 3000 acres of abandon citrus farms located in the Central Region-Cape Coast.
It is estimated that the company would generate an income of about GHC250 million annually.
This support by ADB is expected to go a long way to create more sustainable jobs and also cut down on the importation of fruit juice into the country.
The Central Citrus Limited would be getting a direct off-take from the Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Factory to make sure their produce is used to blend the Eku tropical varieties to enhance its taste.
This support by ADB means, the bank has bought into the vision of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to take off from the shelves most of these foreign products and to bring in Ghanaian products.
Ghana has the two most suitable sources of oranges coming after South Africa which is a prudent venture that ADB has signed onto.
The decision by ADB to go into this venture would lead to the creation of more jobs, promoting processing, reducing importation and winning the cedi off from unnecessary pressure.
The enclave has over 75 thousand acres of citrus and with the support from ADB, it would scaled up economic activities sharply.
The average citrus farmer has abandoned the farm because of poor revenue coupled with insect infestation and plant diseases, together with unproductive work processes, which often hamper cultivation. Many of the seedlings are pest-ridden, making them useless for further planting.
This frustration usually makes the farmers to switch over to the cultivation of rubber and cassava.
For the past 10 years most citrus farms have been abandoned as the importation of finished products have outweighed the processing opportunities in the country.
ADB’s financial support is to help improve the quality of citrus production and increase sustainable income for all actors along the citrus value chain.
Citrus fruits have long been valued as part of a nutritious and tasty diet.
The flavours provided by citrus are among the most preferred in the world, and it is increasingly evident that citrus not only tastes good, but is also good for people. It is well established that citrus and citrus products are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre (non-starch polysaccharides) that are essential for normal growth and development and overall nutritional well-being.