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President Mahama inaugurates Komenda Sugar Factory

BY: Timothy Gobah & Shirley Aseidu-Addo, Komenda

The government is fashioning out a National Sugar Policy that would create an enabling environment for the sugar industry to contribute immensely to transforming and accelerating the development of the nation's economy.

 

The policy, which is being prepared together with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, would help create an enabling environment for a competitive private sector driven sugar industry to accelerate economic growth.

The President, John Dramani Mahama inaugurating the Komenda Sugar Factory in Komenda Monday, said the sugar industry was a crucial one that had transformed several agro economies globally and would be given the needed investment to support the transformational agenda of the government.

President Mahama said the sugarcane industry had been the backbone of many economies across the globe in resource mobilization, employment creation and the provision of improved rural infrastructure and accelerating the growth of those economies.

He expressed the worry that the country spent more than $200 million to import sugar annually, and said the National Sugar Policy would help ensure that the country exploited the fortunes of the sugar industry.

President Mahama said the Komenda Factory was to save the nation millions of dollars used to import sugar into the country and that revamping of the factory was part of government's agenda of transforming the country by producing the products that the country had comparative advantage in.

He said the closure of the factory and others such as the Asuatre Sugar factory had a negative toll on the communities and the country in general and said it was important that Ghanaian investors in particular took advantage of the revamping of the factory and others that would soon be revamped to help build a stronger sugar industry and economy.

President Mahama said the factory would create 7,300 jobs directly and indirectly to create jobs and improve the living conditions of the people in the factory's catchment area.

"Every single grain consumed over the last 30 to 40 years in the country has been imported from outside," he said, adding that the revamping of the factory would save the country hard earned foreign exchange used in importing sugar.

President Mahama stated that the new factory was 25 percent bigger than the old defunct factory and has the capacity to crush 1,200 tonnes of sugarcane per day.

President Mahama called on all stakeholders to ensure that the factory was properly maintained and to prevent it from collapse saying many factories had collapsed because of poor maintenance culture.

He commended the Indian government for the support of $24 million grant to help sustain the factory.