NPP Starts Pineapple Factory Today

NPP-Starts-Pineapple-Factory-today.jpg

But Leaves Sugar Rusting

After badmouthing the Komenda Sugar Factory while in opposition, President Akufo-Addo, will be performing the second sod cutting for the Ekumfi Fruit Processing Factory today, as the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) first one-district-one factory 2016 campaign promise.

The same factory, had its first sod cutting ceremony done four years ago, specifically on May 18, 2013, under the Mahama administration by the then Central Regional Minister, Dr. Samuel Sarpong.

The new factory is expected to benefit from a US$2billion Chinese Exim bank loan as the Komenda Sugar Factory established by the Mahama administration, has been abandoned and rusting away in the bush.

Interestingly, the sugar factory requires a minimum working capital of GH¢6 million to be operational, but the Akufo-Addo government appears unprepared to release the money.

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) continues to state its role in the new factory which gets $5million payable in seven years, according to the General Manager, Daniel Kwarteng. It is expected that 5400 people will be employed, but challenges ahead are markets for the finished products from the factory.

The NDC insists “it was a GHc 1.2m organic sugarloaf pineapple growing project with funding from the Japanese Government and Ghana Government through CEDECOM, which is an agency under the Ministry of Trade & Industry based in Cape Coast”.

Edward Acquah alias Fayah and Raymond Moore, NDC Constituency Secretary and Deputy Communication Officer respectively in a statement sent to The Herald explained that “the NDC Government of President John Dramani Mahama through the Ministry of Trade & Industry then headed by Hon Haruna Iddrissu, another agency of MoTI- CEDECOM headed by Mr. Spencer Taylor, the Ekumfi MP- Hon Abeiku Crentsil and the Ekumfi District Assembly initiated the project in 2013”.

According o the executives, “the project was launched in 2013 by the then Central Regional Minister- Hon Dr Samuel Sarpong ably assisted by the then Deputy Minister of MoTI – Hon Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, officials of CEDECOM, officials of the Japanese Government, the then Ekumfi MP-Hon Abeiku Crentsil, Ekumfi Nananom and the District Assembly officials”.

“The two year project assisted over 277 small-holder farmers in the District from ten (10) Ekumfi communities” adding “it was successfully implemented and beneficiary farmers after harvesting and marketing their produce, are settling their indebtedness from their profits for other farmers to also benefit from the project since it’s a revolving fund”.

At Ekumfi, land is feverishly being prepared ahead of the sod cutting for the ‘one district, one factory’ launch by President Akuffo Addo.

The 10 acre land, will be the site for the mega structure of the factory, while a fifty acre piece of land is to be developed later for expansion and farms.

Chinese contractors are already in town to develop the factory.

As part of the conditions on the loan, Chinese contractors, will build the factory and hand it over together with its machinery.

The Exim bank loan, will also be used to train out growers who number about 5000, to make sure the factory has enough raw materials.

Farmers can’t wait to off load their excess pineapple, which at times rot on their farms.

More than 30 percent of their produce goes bad every year with a chunk of their produce sent to Nsawam for processing.

While farmers find a ready market with the construction of the processing factory, there are bigger issues the Ekumfi fruit processing factory has to deal with.

The European market is very strict with its standards when it comes to finished fruit products, a major setback for the company.

The company will then have to do more boiled fruits which have a shelf life of one year.

One other major issue to deal with is electricity and Daniel kwarteng indicates there are plans to use a mix of solar, hydro and in the long run a coal plant that will be constructed in the enclave.

The expectations for the ‘One District, One Factory’ project are high and the chief of the area did not mince words about this.

The factory should be completed in June 2018 and the Central Regional Minister, Kwamena Duncan said it will be the game changer for the region.

President Akuffo Addo will officially launch the national plan for the ‘One District, One Factory’ today Friday August 25, and the issues to deal with will be raw materials, power supply, markets and meeting the international standards.

Below is what the NDC executives sent to The Herald

EKUMFI PINEAPPLE PROCESSING FACTORY: The Facts.

1. The NDC Government of President John Dramani Mahama through the Ministry of Trade & Industry then headed by Hon Haruna Iddrissu, another agency of MoTI- CEDECOM headed by Mr. Spencer Taylor, the Ekumfi MP- Hon Abeiku Crentsil and the Ekumfi District Assembly initiated the project in 2013.

2. It was a GHc 1.2m organic sugarloaf pineapple growing project with funding from the Japanese Government and Ghana Government through CEDECOM, which is an agency under the Ministry of Trade & Industry based in Cape Coast.

3. The project was launched in 2013 by the then Central Regional Minister- Hon Dr Samuel Sarpong ably assisted by the then Deputy Minister of MoTI – Hon Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, officials of CEDECOM, officials of the Japanese Government, the then Ekumfi MP-Hon Abeiku Crentsil, Ekumfi Nananom and the District Assembly officials.

4. The two year project assisted over 277 small-holder farmers in the District from ten (10) Ekumfi communities.

5. It was successfully implemented and beneficiary farmers after harvesting and marketing their produce, are settling their indebtedness from their profits for other farmers to also benefit from the project since it’s a revolving fund.

6. Hon Nii Lantey Vanderpuye informed the participating agencies, farmers, Ekumfiman and Ekumfi Nananom that it was an agricultural base policy of the Government of President John Dramani Mahama that aims at ensuring the production of the necessary raw materials to feed the Nation’s industries.

7. Hon Abeiku Crentsil commended Government through CEDECOM for making provisions for the beneficiary farmers to retain 30% of the revenue and appealed to Government& CSOs to provide the area with a processing factory so as to help reduce post-harvest losses. (This was in 2013).

8. After the successful implementation of this project in 2015, officials from the Ministry of Trade & Industry led by Hon Dr Ekwow Spio Garbrah then, met all Ekumfi stakeholders at the Ekumfi Essarkyir Community Center near the District Assembly for appraisal where the announcement of Govt’s resolve to establish the Ekumfi Pineapple Processing Factory was made to the admiration of all.

9. After the feasibility studies were done, the technical committee and all stakeholders agreed to site the project at Ekumfi Eyisam.

10. Subsequently, a lot of work was put into ensuring the establishment of the factory as the second component of the pineapple growing project be it institutional, financial, governance structures, technical capabilities, consultations etc and just when it was time for the sod-cutting, there was a change of Govt.

11. Therefore if the current Government has decided to continue the laudable project of his predecessors, they should be humble and truthful enough to acknowledge same and credit the Government of President John Dramani Mahama for his unprecedented Visionary leadership which saw many infrastructural and industrial projects springing up all over the Country.

12. The public, Ekumfiman, members of the great NDC who are shocked at the attempt of this NPP Govt to throw dust into the eyes of Ghanaians are humbly urged to wait for our impending press conference to expose them for their deceit. Thank you.

Signed:

Mr. Edward Acquah (Fayah),
Constituency Secretary
(0244246883)

Mr. Raymond Moore,
Deputy Communication Officer
(0201505888)

 

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