Work resumes on GH¢36m Walewale Watermelon Processing Factory - Facility to be operational by September

Construction work on the Watermelon Processing Factory in Walewale in the North East Region has resumed.

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The work began in December 2019 but stalled midway in the wake of the global economic crisis occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian/Ukraine war.

The GH¢36 million project, which is part of the One-district One-factory (1D1F) initiative of the government, is expected to be completed and operationalised by September this year.

Currently, all civil works have been completed, remaining tiling, painting and fixing of washroom facilities. Already, equipment and machinery are on site and ready for installation in the coming days.

During a visit to the site last week, workers were seen busily finalising work on the facility. According to the site engineers of the project, barring any unforeseen challenges, the project would be completed by September.

When completed and operations commence, the factory is expected to produce about 10 metric tonnes of juices and beverages per hour.

The factory

The factory, which is a subsidiary of Champion Foods and Beverages Limited, a wholly Ghanaian-owned beverage manufacturing, distribution and marketing company, is being funded by the Ghana EXIM Bank.

The watermelon factory

The watermelon factory

Once completed, it would create direct employment for 300 people, while about 2,000 people, including farmers and aggregators who will engage in an out-grower scheme, will also benefit.

The North East Regional Minister, Yidana Zakaria, and the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for West Mamprusi, Issahaku Aremeyaw Somo, inspected work on the project last Wednesday.

Mr Zakaria expressed satisfaction with the progress of work so far on the project.

Project

He refuted claims that the project had been abandoned by the government, explaining that "several factors, including the outbreak of COVID-19 and the Russian/ Ukraine war, caused the delay of the project."

He said the benefits of the factories to the local economy were enormous, in terms of job creation and improvement in the incomes of farmers, farmhands and drivers along the value chain.

While commending the contractor for the quality of work done so far, the regional minister urged farmers to take advantage of the factory to scale up the cultivation of watermelon.

The MCE, Mr Somo, said once operational, the factory will go a long way to reduce the phenomenon of rural-urban migration and create jobs for the teeming youth.

Writer's email: [email protected]

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