The coordinator of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government’s flagship program, “one district one factory”, Mrs Gifty Ohene-Kunadu, has reiterated government’s commitment of making sure the factories come into being.
She made this in an interview with Ghananewsonline.com.gh ‘s Central regional reporter when she toured the pineapple farms at Agona Oguaakrom, Gomoa Assin, Ekumfi Abor and the site proposed for the factory at Ekumfi Nanaben all in Central region on Monday.
A total of about 700 acre land pineapple cultivation was seen at the farms.
Explaining the rationale behind her visit to the sites and the farms, Mrs Ohene-Kunadu said it was for her to see things for herself on how things were going at the ground following some ‘misgivings’ from some Ghanaians.
“I am here today because of the noise that a lot of people are making that it is not real, that it was just a gimmick, we’re here to show to the whole country that it [the factory] is real…..his excellency the president himself was here to cut the sod and he didn’t do that to just excite Ghanaians, but, it is something that is real,” she noted.
The former Asante Akim south legislator bemoaned about the rate at which some scores of Ghanaians were painting the policy black and therefore urged them to appreciate the government’s commitments and stop “politicising” the policy, the reason she said the policy had come to create permanent jobs for Ghanaians.
She however expressed satisfaction about the rate at which preparatory works were ongoing both at the farms and the site for the factory and assured that “a year from now this factory will be in place and we will all be enjoying the pineapple drink”.
Chief Biney to be Made an Ambadsador
Mrs Ohene-Kunadu then revealed that her office was considering of making the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Communication member, Chief Biney, an ambassador for the Ekumfi Fruits and Juice factory.
According to her, the communicator, after describing the proposed factory as ‘419’, has acquired land, few meters away from the site, to cultivate pineapple to feed the factory.
“what is even interested is that, some time ago we all heard Chief Biney talking about this site that it has become a playground for grass cutters and now chief Biney himself has appreciated this program and has even acquired 15acres land here, is just here, he hasn’t planted yet but I’m told he’s going to plant pineapples to feed the factory so I’ve even applied to the promoter that he makes him [Chief Biney] an ambassador to tell all Ghanaians that this is real”.
Factory has not delayed
Refuting the claims that the setting up of the factory has kept long, the project’s head of operations, Frederick Kobbyna Acquaah, explained that “it has not delayed in anyway……whatever you see here had been our schedule from the beginning….but you should understand that the factory is for processing of pineapple fruits, so there are three things we needed to do; first one is to set up a building, the second one is the machines and then thirdly the raw materials [pineapples].
“So we realised that the first two are what I call ‘over the shelf items’ -you can get them at anytime, provided you have your money: you can buy the machines now, you can build the house within six months then you ask yourself, can you get the raw materials too at stores or within six months? No! Because the pineapples take about 14 months to mature,so we realised that we start the cultivation of the raw materials first before the rest in order not to repeat what has been done at Komenda…so bro, now that we are done with about 700 acre land of the raw materials, you will soon see the building being put up….the contractor has started, as you can see the pegs there and he will be here within the week to commence full work so it has not delayed at all”.
At the Ekumfi Abor farm, the farmers made up of men and women were given their March allowances of ¢200.00 each which the Managing director of the Ekumfi Fruits and Juices, Daniel Adjei Kwarteng, explained that it (the money) was given to them at the end of every months to motivate them do the work until their pineapples were ready for harvest.
Source: Kojo Ata Kakrah Abrowah||