Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has cut sod for the construction of a watermelon processing factory at Walewale in the North East Region, ABC News can report.
The factory forms part of government’s industrialisation agenda, ‘One District, One Factory’ and is being undertaken by the Kinapharma group, a pharmaceutical company.
When completed, the project is expected to be a major employer, providing not less than 400 direct jobs to the people.
Addressing the chiefs and people of Walewale, who had gathered to witness the sod-cutting ceremony, the Vice President indicated that the operationalization of the factory will help to ameliorate their living conditions, as well as, people in neighboring communities.
Dr. Bawumia was hopeful that the age-old misfortune of post-harvest losses in the watermelon growing enclave of Walewale and its surrounding towns and villages will no more exist after the completion of the project as a ready market will be provided.
“This area of our country; North East and its environs is a major watermelon producing area. But you know that the problem for our farmers is that when they produce this watermelon, finding a market for it is difficult and over time they get rotten and many lose their produce.
“The factory is expected to create direct employment for between 300 and 400 people and provide a ready market season after season for between 2000 to 3000 peasant farmers. The benefits of the factory to the local economy are enormous in terms of job creation and improving incomes of farmers, farmhands and drivers along the value chain,” he said.
“Which means all our farmers from across can bring their produce to sell to the factory for processing
“But thanks to Dr. Nsiah Poku and the Kinapharma group; they have come to Walewale to set up a watermelon processing factory,” the Vice President underscored.
This adds to the list of a growing number of factories that have been commissioned under the flagship programme.
So far, the government claims 58 are completed and fully functional while about 100 are at various stages of completion.