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Opinions of Friday, 19 July 2013

Columnist: Osei, Joseph

Goats take Over the Pwalugu Tomato Factory

..... whiles northern brothers wage in needless conflicts*

*By Joseph Osei. *

A bad priesthood who sit for a town to be shattered will also suffer the repercussion of the destruction. My soul is saddened by government attitude towards public properties. When you travel across the country one will be surprise at the level of neglect of government properties in every corner of the country.

One of such properties is the northern star tomato factory. As at the time of putting this in black and white, Tomato farmers in the upper east region are left high and dry by the northern star tomatoes factory which assured them the factory’s preparedness to purchase their product to avoid repetition of a glut, diseases and poor marketing of their products which led to many farmers committing suicide in 2009.

With this conspicuous problem at the north, some northern folks engage in needless conflict and annihilation of properties in protest of government appointees. As a young Journalist who has stayed in the north for about 15 years, am passionate about issues of northern development. My northern brothers at high positions have ignore their lineage all in the name of politics to suit their political masters whiles their homes perish in intense paucity of development. They rather sit nonchalance when it comes to issues of their own development, but quick to act as linguist in other peoples matter. I know I will face a huge diatribe and verbal abuse by people of little minds, but as I said “A bad priesthood who sit for a town to be shattered will also suffer the repercussion of the destruction”. Is a fact some northern brothers follow politics and tribal dogmatist leaving behind their sense. Members of parliament, from the north are a bad example and an apology of leaders in this dynamic world, they sit at the floor of parliament and look unconcern for their colleagues from the southern part of the country fight for development and take all to their lineage. Northern folks form pressure groups with good intentions but fall to the side of political parties for them to be use a catapult to throw stones at opponents at the expense of its inventive development oriented aim. Examples of such groups are the Northern Patriot in Research and Advocacy and the Northern Youth for Development. All these groups, for political reason have gone stumpy to give downy ride for their political party.

It would be recalled that in March 2010, the government indicated through its sector Minister, Hannah Tetteh, that it had revived the Northern Star Tomato factory with an investment of $1.7million, adding that the factory was going to operate at full capacity to process 500,000 tones of tomatoes a day.

The Minister after an inspection tour of the factory in March 2010 even indicated that that with the investments yielding so much fruit, the factory was even considering going into the processing of mango and other fruits and vegetables and called on all farmers in the region to go into the production of tomatoes as there is ready market for their produce.

However, the visit to the factory exposed the sorry state of the factory and its equipments. Not only had the factory been totally abandoned with no management, staff or associated worker in sight, on what was supposed to be a busy working day, but many of the equipment at the factory, which were imported by the former Kufuor government before it left power, have been left in a total state of ruin as they have been subjected to the vagaries of rain and the sun.

A careful look at the factory premises would leave no one in doubt that the factory has not worked in many years. The only moving beings or objects on the factory premises were a number of goats who had gladly sought refuge at the abandoned premises and who were going about their activities unrestrained while one could also find a stockpile of corn which had been also left to decay at the premises.

The erstwhile Kufuor administration around 2007 initiated the process of reviving the Pwalugu Tomato factory established under first President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah when it imported and installed equipments worth several millions but could not complete the resuscitation before it left office in January 2009 and it was this process the government claimed in 2010 to have finished and production started.

The northern star is just one of many factories that have suffered such fate. In few days I will put and intense write up on all the factories abandoned in the north and its accompanied repercussion on the people.