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‘Komenda sugar factory not a white elephant; to be operational soon’ – Gov’t

Deputy Minister of Trade, Michael Okyere Baafi has rejected claims that government has abandoned the Komenda sugar factory inaugurated by former President John Mahama.

Deputy Minister of Trade, Michael Okyere Baafi has rejected claims that government has abandoned the Komenda sugar factory inaugurated by former President John Mahama.

Speaking on Face to Face on Citi TV, the New Juaben South Member of Parliament said: “That we are not producing sugar does not mean there is nothing happening. It is not a white elephant. If you go there now, you will see workers on the ground.”

He explained that government has had to invest a lot of time and resources into revamping the facility, “former President Mahama abandoned.”

“We [the NPP] came to meet a factory that was not fully tooled, one without plantation to serve as raw material to help the factory to survive. One that didn’t even have people to run it. There were a lot of things that needed fixing. By God’s grace, we are done with them.”

He indicated that government is working around the clock to ensure that the facility is fully operational by the end of July.

“As I speak, CBG is working with the Ministry of Trade and Industry as well as the consultants for the factory. We have to first buy sugar cane from the farmers.”

“Per my checks, I can assure you that, latest by a month, the facility will be running.”

Background

The Komenda Sugar Factory was built at a cost of $35 million from an Indian EXIM Bank facility.

It was inaugurated by then-President John Mahama in May 2016, but stopped operations not long after.

The factory was expected to employ 7,300 people along the value chain, boosting employment prospects in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem municipality.

President Akufo-Addo had given indications that the Komenda Sugar Factory would be fully operationalised in April 2022.

At the time, he said there were some civil works ongoing at the factory site, and that by the end of March 2022, all those activities would be completed to pave way for production.

A Ghanaian-Indian company, Park Agrotech Ghana Limited, is the new investor who will take over the operations of the factory.

The government in 2019 said the company was expected to inject $28 million into the factory between 2020 and 2023.

$11 million was to go into sugarcane cultivation; $6 million to upgrade plant and machinery, and $11 million as working capital to bring the ailing factory back on its feet.

The Ghana-based company is a subsidiary of the Skylark Group of Companies of India, one of the largest integrated farming businesses in India.

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Source: citinewsroom.com

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