The people of the Central Region, will have another reason to smile next week, as the president, John Dramani Mahama, readies himself to commission the revived Komenda Sugar Factory on Monday, with the hope of a massive employment for people living around and beyond the catchment area of the factory.
When commissioned, the Komenda Sugar Factory, will produce some 250, 000 tons of sugar per year, cut down the huge importation of sugar into Ghana by private individuals and its concomitant problem of dollar shortage.
Already, rice importation, has been cut down considerably, following the springing up of rice farms all over the country with most notable being Asutsuare and Akuse areas in the Eastern region. There is also rice cultivation in Volta Region with Dabala, Afife and the Likpe areas, listed as among the high producing towns.
This will be the second time in this month that the President, will be in the Central Region to commission a major project. In the first week of this month, he opened the newly built Cape Coast Sports Stadium, on the first day of his “accounting to the people tour” to the region.
At his Official State Visit to Japan last week, the President during an interaction with the Ghanaian Community said, he would commission the factory this month to provide the sugar needs of Ghanaians and other West African Countries.
“We’ve also invested in reviving the Komenda Sugar Factory and at the end of this month; I am going to commission it to start producing sugar in Ghana. It will need 250,000 tons of sugar cane a year. This project will create hundreds of job for the people especially in the region”, President Mahama said.
“That means that all the people in the Komenda area who are willing to go into sugar cane farming will get job to do. We are paying 60 Cedis per ton of sugar cane and at the end of the year, they will pay 10 Cedis bonus to every farmer for the number of tons they were able to supply to the factory”, the president said.
According to the president, in the likely event that, the indigenes take up the challenge to produce the raw material, Ghana, will be able to produce a large amount of the sugar and export to countries such as, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, as there is a huge market in the sub-region.
“So if they take up the challenge, then it mean that we will be producing some of the sugar that we eat and thereby reduce the amount of sugar we import into the country”, he said.
“And indeed there is a huge market for sugar in the whole sub-region, Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger and all those places they import sugar. So we are going to start the Komenda Sugar Factory at the end of this month.
Similarly, another factory is expected to be built around Savlugu in the Northern Region, a discussion was held with a company in Japan Omarobeni to undertake that project.
“In my discussion with Omarobeni they have also been looking to set up sugar plant in the northern part of Ghana in the Savlugu area and so this afternoon when we met with them, it was one of the discussions we undertook with them.
And so if that proves successful, then we will probably see something happening there. So those industries we are strategically reawaking them so that we can cut down on our imports and produce more jobs for ourselves”, he revealed.
The factory, one of the strategic infrastructural projects revived by the government after it collapsed many years ago, was established by the first president of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
The sugar factory, comes alive at a time the government has revived the Kumasi Shoe Factory also built by Dr. Nkrumah. The president said “those industries, we are strategically reawakening them.
“We have targeted some of the industries that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah established to revive them and so if you go today, the Kumasi Shoe Factory is working. It is producing boots for our security services. Last year, they produced 10,000 sandals school for children in deprived communities”.