Two factories under the government’s One District One Factory (1D1F) project initiative would be offering a total of 3000 direct jobs by 2021 when they start operating at full capacity. The Ekumfi Fruits and Juices factory and the Casa De Ropa, both in the Central Region would be creating about 2000 and 1000 jobs respectively.
This came to light last week when members of the Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG) took a tour of the two factories to gather first-hand information on the reality and operations of the government’s 1D1F projects with the support of Ghana EximBank. It was also to enable the media to understand the role of the bank in Ghana’s development efforts.
The Eximbank is lending support to indigenous Ghanaian entrepreneurs to establish or expand already existing factories to boost production, create employment for the citizenry, and generate wealth for growth and economic development.
Ekumfi Fruits and Juice Limited
The Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Limited is the first factory that President Akufo-Addo cut the sod for construction under the government’s 1D1F project in 2017. The company commenced production in November 2019.
Currently, the factory produces factory juice under the brand name ‘Eku Juice’ which is produced from 100% pineapple with no artificial additives.
Managing Director of the Factory, Frederick Kobbyna Acquaah, explained to journalists plans to enrich the local economy with the cultivation of pineapple farms through the out-growers scheme by the indigenes in the catchment areas and other pineapple growing areas.
He said the factory is currently operating a single shift system with a capacity of ten Tons per day, the equivalent of four Acres, and is projected to operate full shift and cultivates 5,000 acres of pineapples in the long term.
Management has developed an innovative ownership structure to ensure the sustainability of the raw materials, – this involves farmers serving as part owners of the farm, as well as out-growers and workers to maximize economic gains.
“Marketing strategy in the short to medium term is local driven but with a long-term global perspective,” Acquaah stated.
Casa De Ropa
At Casa De Ropa, Managing Director of the company, Ebenezer Obeng Baffoe, who took journalists round the facility said the support from EximBank has enabled the company to provide jobs to the indigenes of Bewadze in the Gomoa West District of the Central Region.
The project involves the cultivation of orange-fleshed sweet potato and setting up of a factory to process the sweet potatoes into bread, chips, cake, biscuits, among others.
He said the bank’s support has enabled the company to provide jobs and guaranteed the provision of healthy foods to supplement nutritional values and reduce imports.
The company’s workforce made up mostly of women from the catchment area who prior to the commencing were burning charcoal for livelihood. We met them busily at work with great expressions of contentment.
Management has projected that in the short to medium term the company would be cultivating about 350 acres and a long term plan of 750 acres with a potential employment opportunity for more workers. 1D1F
Established by an Act of Parliament on 29th March 2016 (Act 911) with a vision to become a strong financial institution that will be a key engine in the country’s trade export and mission to facilitate the transformation of Ghana’s economy into an export one competitive in the global market place.
To achieve its mission, many companies in the country have received financial support to build capacity, invest in critical areas of the economy, and enhance competitiveness locally and globally.
The visit brought to bear the strategic benefits of the concept of a private-public partnership with the establishment and operations of magnificent Ekumfi Fruit and Juice Factory, producers of Eku Juice, from fresh pineapples and also Casa De Ropa, a potato-based products company that processes potato into bread, pizza, chips, cake, noodles, puree, and other confectioneries.
The local content element in these projects is visibly strong as both companies have made it their policies to ensure that people in the surrounding communities are prioritized when comprising their workforce. This is why they go for people who are conversant with the cultivation of the raw materials, the pineapples, and potatoes, and thereby giving them a sense of belonging and commitment to protection.
Consideration for women during recruitment is high with a projected target of 70% when operating at full capacity.
The Ekumfi Fruits and juice limited and Casa De Ropa Company are fully controlled by Ghanaians from designing, installation, and running.
The state of the art factories and farms are also serving as a learning place for agricultural students from selected tertiary and secondary schools. 1D1F
Source: Jeorge Wilson Kingson || ghananewsonline.com.gh