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General News of Friday, 3 June 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

Komenda Sugar Factory 100 % ready to operate – Spio Garbrah

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah has dismissed suggestions that the Komenda Sugar Factory lacks the necessary resources for effective operation and will therefore soon collapse.

President John Dramani inaugurated the defunct factory which was started by Ghana’s first President Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in the Central Region on Monday.

But critics including Minority in Parliament and a former Member of Parliament for Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem (KEEA) Constituency, where the factory is located have suggested that government’s decision to inaugurate without the needed raw materials could only mean that it was done for political gain ahead of elections in November.

Even though they believe the factory has the potential to alleviate poverty through job creation and also cut the country’s sugar exports, they argue that government and its partners failed to consider certain fundamental problems associated with the running of the factory before the commissioning.

They are of the view that factors such as the unavailability of sugarcane to feed the factory, unattractive prices for sugarcane produced by farmers and the high cost of irregular electrical power, may soon cripple the factory.

But Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah on the Citi Breakfast Show allayed fears of the factory collapsing in the future, saying “the factory is in perfect condition and is 100 percent ready to produce.” “The fact that a factory needs raw materials does not mean it is not ready to produce,” he added.

Trial testing The Minister further stated that the factory is expected to undergo trial testing when sugarcane is in the season to ensure that it meets the requirements needed for sugar production before it begins full production.

“More factories because they are machines, require that kind of testing to make sure that all the different processes of production are tested,” he explained. Factory to get more lands for production The Minister revealed that government intends to secure some lands in the region for production.

“The factory intends to acquire more lands and chiefs in the Central and Western regions have all been invited to offer lands that the factory could own for purposes of feeding the factory as well as also buying from ordinary farmers who are out growers but who will enter into agreement with the factory..so until the factory enough of its own land, it will continue to depend mostly on out growers like it is doing now to feed the factory.”

Don’t kill economy The Minister also advised critics to provide suggestions and ideas that will make the factory work or government project work well.