The Komenda Sugar Factory has failed to produce sugar and is currently rusting away after six years of commissioning.
A former Board Secretary for Komenda Sugar Factory has accused the government of lacking the political will to operationalise the Komenda Sugar Factory.
Speaking in an interview on JoyNews’ The Pulse on Thursday, Ransford Vanni-Amoah said the sugar factory is very viable and therefore disappointed in the government for abandoning the project over the years.
He added, “Looking at its viability, I don’t think any government that has the nation at heart will let it sit idle while we import millions of dollars (of sugar) into this country.”
This, he explained is because the sugar importation affects the local economy.
“I am very passionate about this Komenda Sugar Factory because I know how it will help minimise the importation of sugar, but it seems government of the day is not willing, it lacks the political will to operationalise the factory,” he said.
Former Board Secretary for Komenda Sugar Factory, Ransford Vanni-Amoah
Asked whether the Komenda Factory is not the case of a business gone wrong due to President Akufo-Addo’s comment that it was started on the wrong footing, Vanni-Amoah expressed his discontent over the comment while sharing a different perspective.
According to him, in sugar production, backward integration is permissible – explaining that raw materials are not grown before the factory is put up.
“Everywhere in this world, the sugar factories are built before the plantation because sugar is a perishable crop. So for instance, if we have grown all the sugar canes before we built the factory, which milling plants will mill those canes?”
“What the president is saying – maybe the president is ill-informed,” he added.
About the factory The Komenda Sugar Factory was built at a cost of $35 million from an Indian EXIM Bank facility.
It was inaugurated by then-President John Mahama in May 2016, but stopped operations not long after.
The factory was expected to employ 7,300 people along the value chain, boosting employment prospects in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem municipality.
President Akufo-Addo had given indications that the Komenda Sugar Factory would be fully operationalised in April 2022.
At the time, he said there were some civil works ongoing at the factory site, and that by the end of March 2022, all those activities would be completed to pave the way for production.
A Ghanaian-Indian company, Park Agrotech Ghana Limited, is the new investor expected to take over the operations of the factory.
The government in 2019 said the company was expected to inject $28 million into the factory between 2020 and 2023.
About $11 million was to go into sugarcane cultivation; $6 million to upgrade plant and machinery, and $11 million as working capital to bring the ailing factory back on its feet.
The Ghana-based company is a subsidiary of the Skylark Group of Companies of India, one of the largest integrated farming businesses in India.
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