Akuapem Gold Agro Processing Company Limited (AGAPCo), an avocado processing entity established under the One District, One Factory (1D1F) initiative, alluded to the heavy investments made in its raw material base to ensure the safety of the raw material base when producing at full capacity. start.
According to company management, in order for every processing plant to stand the test of time, a key part of this loop is the availability of abundant raw materials to ensure a constant supply for production.
To ensure that Akuapem Gold is not caught in this web, management has invested heavily in avocado cultivation to ensure consistent, year-round production.
With around 28,000 acres of land secured for the production of raw materials and around 600 acres fully cultivated in the community of Amotare in Begoro in the Eastern region, along with several other contract growers on board, management is convinced that the raw material would be in abundance to supply the factory at the start of production.
“We already have a huge cultivated area. Usually it takes three to five years for avocado to start fruiting, but the best agronomic practices that we have put in place, coupled with the ‘Hass’ variety that we have acquired in Kenya, have allowed ours to start to grow. grow in less than two years and that is an indication of the good investments we are making here.
We also have a nursery that can feed about 1,000 acres of land, so if we get over the little land litigation issues we’re having with some of our land, then we can develop an additional 5,000 acres of land and offer an additional 15,000 acres. to producers, ”said Albert Kwame Wilson, president of Akuapem Gold Agro Processing.
In addition, he added that technical expertise is the most important requirement for embarking on such a business venture, and the company has some of the best human resources in this industry in the country to manage the operations.
The company, which is geared towards industrial production of avocado oil for export and domestic consumption, has an installed processing capacity of 110,000 tonnes of avocado seeds per day for the production of oil and 13,000 tons per day of seed size sorting capacity, as well as 300-400 metric tons of avocado packaging per day for export.
Beyond avocado oil production and fresh fruit export, AGAPCo’s production line also includes butter, avocado drinks, animal feed and medicine, among others.
The president of AGAPCo again indicated that everything is ready for the start of production, with the exception of the electrical connectivity, which is currently facing some challenges and hopes that this will be resolved soon for production to start in September. .
The avocado market share in 2016 was estimated to be around $ 12 billion and is expected to reach $ 23 billion by 2027. However, in 2019, global sales were already $ 23 billion and increasing, this which means that the demand increases and exceeds the supply, which represents a great opportunity for the country to generate income with the right investment in the sector. Its income stream is said to be four times that of cocoa.
AGAPCo Chief Agronomist Richard Baidoo said that although scientific processes are imported from Kenya, local varieties are also grafted alongside to protect local varieties.
He added that 10% of the cultivated population on farms are local varieties some of which have good potential to attract pollinators.
“We grow the avocado variety ‘Hass’ from Kenya because in the global avocado industry which has the most superior characteristics and in terms of oil to seed ratio it is very high. The fruit is not as big as our local variety, but the seed inside is huge and the oil content of the seed is the highest. So every business entity will be interested in optimizing their oil extraction rate and that’s why we borrowed from Kenyans, ”he said.
The company takes international standardization to its highest level by ensuring that it achieves its goal of exporting to the international market, processes to meet all international standards instilled in the grand plan from the beginning. This, the management hinted that all documentations and requirements have been successfully met for production to start by the end of September 2021.
With Kenya recognized as the main producer of avocados, AGAPCo sent their technical team to Kenya to study their system and compare the company’s operations with it.
Employment & Gender Equality
AGAP, has an employment policy that is aware of gender equality and the empowerment of women. In this context, he gave the opportunity to women from neighboring communities to be in charge of grafting buds, watering and maintaining seedbeds.
Future plans are also in place to involve women in terms of harvesting mature avocado fruit. Mr. Wilson indicated that considering the size of the plantation under development, excluding