The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly taken a toll on all kinds of businesses whether big or small.
In the Techiman North District of the Bono East Region for instance, some producers of Gari, a powdery food material flour made from cassava, have been counting their losses.
The cassava producers, who are calling for government support, say while sales have reduced significantly, the increasing cost of cassava is also affecting their production.
The Akrofrom Gari Factory, established several years ago, has provided meaningful employment for residents, particularly women in the Techiman North District.
The factory is noted for producing Gari of high quality, employs hundreds of people, and supplies Gari to buyers in Accra, Kumasi, and Takoradi among others.
However, since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Ghana in March this year, their work has been affected in many ways.
“Business was good before the outbreak of COVID-19. Since the outbreak, the buyers have not been coming; and where we get our cassava from is very far. There is shortage of cassava, the price of the cassava is very expensive; and not everyone can buy. Due to that, some of them have stopped working. We want to sell the Gari at 450 cedis per bag, but we are not getting people to buy. The buyers who come, want to buy it at any price, and if you do not sell them, you run at a loss,” Albert Ofori Amanfo, a gari processor stated.
Some managers of the factory also spoke to Citi Business News about the challenges they face.
“Before the outbreak of the disease, business was good; but since the outbreak of the disease, it has affected our work. We used to get a lot of buyers from Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and Abofour,” Elizabeth Ackaah, Secretary of the Akrofrom Gari Factory noted.
Cecilia Minta, Organizer Akrofrom Gari Factory, also said, “the Akrofrom Gari Association needs government’s support to expand the facilities here. We need a warehouse where we can store the gari. Our machine for production is too small; so we need help. We also want the Assembly to help us to clear this refuse dump.”