Work begins on Jasikan agro–processing factory

BY: Mary Anane-Amponsah
The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto performing the sod cutting ceremony while Nana Osabarima Antwi Adjei V, the Twifohene of the Buem Traditional Area and chief of Okadjakrom and other dignitaries applaud
The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto performing the sod cutting ceremony while Nana Osabarima Antwi Adjei V, the Twifohene of the Buem Traditional Area and chief of Okadjakrom and other dignitaries applaud

The sod has been cut for an agro–processing factory in the Jasikan District under the government’s one-district, one-factory programme.

On completion, the factory will process cocoa, cashew nuts, coffee, sheanuts and cowpea.

It is being constructed by Management Edge Limited, in partnership with TrustworkOakbuild, both Ghanaian companies and International Project Financing Partners (IPFP), on a 50-acre land.

The $50 million factory is being financed by local banks and some international investors.

It will have facilities such as a warehouse for finished products and raw materials, administration building, a commercial centre and residence for staff.

Work

Work on the project would be undertaken in three phases over a five-year period.

The first phase will comprise the development of infrastructure and an out-grower scheme.

About 20,000 jobs are expected to be created when production begins.

Planting for Food

At the sod cutting ceremony in Jasikan last Wednesday, the Minister for Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, appealed to farmers in the locality to enrol onto the government’s flagship ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme to keep the factory running when it starts operation.

He expressed disappointment at the low patronage of farmers in the area in the programme.

According to him, out of the over 7,000 farmers in the locality, only 1,200 were on the programme so he urged the rest to join it to ensure a constant raw material supply for the factory.

Business plan

Dr Akoto commended the district assembly for the business plan it had developed for the district, describing it as one of the best in the country.

He said the MoFA and the Trade Ministry were working hard to ensure the success of the one district, one factory policy.

The Head of the project implementation team, Mr Kofi Obeng Ayirebi, explained that the “factory comes with a training aspect for personnel who install heavy duty equipment.”

According to him, the plant installation would be done by German engineers and technicians since the factory plant was being sourced from Dresden-Germany.

“There would be technology transfer by the Germans. Those who are into heavy duty equipment would be trained here so that when we are running a machine in any part of the country and we need people to assemble and maintain them, the personnel could take that up,” he said.

The Jasikan District Chief Executive, Mr Lawrence Kwami Aziale, described the project as a dream come true and said it was a major step in the assembly’s plan of having three factories out of the one-district, one factory policy, to open up the district for vibrant economic activities.

He disclosed that the district had begun the Buem Cocoa initiative to produce 1,000000 cocoa seedlings, 500,000 palm seedlings, 100,000 coffee seedlings and 30,000 coconut for the 2018/2019 planting season, all geared toward the district’s industrialisation.

The Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, appealed to the chiefs to release land to investors who desired to set up in their areas and commended the chiefs for their support for the project.

Dr Akoto and the team also visited the Group Nduom rice milling company at Worawora.

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