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Business News of Sunday, 3 October 2021


1D1F: Program objective not hinged on establishing only greenfield projects - Alan Kyerematen

Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen

• Trade Minister has clarified assertions about the 1D1F initiative

• He pointed that the program objective was not hinged on the establishment of only greenfield projects

Alan Kyerematen said the initiative is also focused on resuscitation of existing but distressed companies

Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, has rebutted claims that the Government is only rebranding some existing projects as one district-one-factory (1D1F) companies.

This comes after assertions have been made that the Akufo-Addo-led administration was only expanding existing companies under the initiative to create an impression of newly instituted ones.

Addressing journalists in the Ashanti region, the trade minister, Alan Kyerematen clarified that the 1D1F was not hinged on only birthing greenfield projects but included the resuscitation of existing but distressed companies.

“If we say we are embarking on an industrial transformation agenda, if we say we want to stimulate industrial growth, what sense will it make if we allow struggling existing companies to collapse and say that we are supporting only greenfield projects?” the trade minister quizzed.

“Why don't we extend similar support to these struggling companies for them to get back on their feet so that we are able to sustain the livelihoods of the Ghanaians who have been employed there as well as increase their capacity to recruit even more?” he continued.

The trade and industry minister assured of government’s support to vibrant companies under the industrialization initiative as well one who want to either expand or introduce new production lines.

Alan Kyerematen made this known when he accompanied President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo during a tour of Darko Farms and Company Limited the Ashanti region for a working visit.

Darko Farms is the oldest private and largest poultry farm established in 1967 with most of its operations located in Akropong in the Atwima Nwabiagya District of the Ashanti Region.

The company was a household name for most Ghanaians for the production and sale of fresh wholesome and quality chicken. It dominated most super markets and distribution outlets for fresh chicken in Kumasi and Accra.

However years on, Darko Farms went through a period of decline due to major challenges confronting the domestic poultry industry including: high cost of feed, high cost of borrowing, inefficiencies across the value chain, high electricity and operational cost, management and governance issues as well as cheap imports.

Revitalisation of company

As part of government’s industrialization programme, the company was identified as one of the viable but distressed companies. In line with this, the company applied to be part of the 1D1F programme in 2017.

Some of the interventions being undertaken by the Akufo-Addo led Government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry to support the company include but are not limited to the following:

a. Support of GH¢ 22.1 million (out of the GH¢39 million cedis which was initially requested) loan facility granted to Darko Farms by Ghana EXIM Bank as a stimulus package to revamp the company’s operations and support the value chain approach, to upgrade, retool the hatchery, feed mill, processing facility, pay outstanding workers’ salaries and statutory obligation, bank loans;

b. Supporting large poultry farms like Darko Farms to establish out-grower schemes;

c. Provision of Technical Assistance at no cost to the company;

Production capacity

Darko Farms has a processing plant operating at 10,000 birds per day with one shift and 20,000 birds per day with two shifts and has re-tooled all its commercial farms to bring them up to international standards. It has also increased day-old chicks and feed mill production to supply out-growers.

As part of efforts to enhance poultry production in the country, Darko Farms is currently implementing an out-grower scheme where farmers are supplied with broiler chicks. They birds were also fed with appropriate support to breed the birds which are then purchased at maturity by Darko Farms for processing on a contractual basis.