Ekumfi Fruit Processing Factory is the first one district one factory that will benefit from the $2billion Chinese Exim bank loan.
The factory gets $5million payable in seven years, according to the General Manager Daniel Kwarteng.
It is expected that 5400 people will be employed, but challenges ahead are markets for the finished products from the factory.
At Ekumfi, land is feverishly being prepared ahead of the sod cutting for the ‘one district, one factory’ launch by President Akuffo Addo.
The 10 acre land will be the site for the mega structure of the factory, while a fifty acre piece of land is to be developed later for expansion and farms.
Chinese contractors are already in town to develop the factory.
As part of the conditions on the loan, Chinese contractors will build the factory and hand it over together with its machinery.
The Exim bank loan will also be used to train out growers who number about 5000, to make sure the factory has enough raw materials.
Farmers can’t wait to off load their excess pineapple which at times rot on their farms.
More than 30 percent of their produce goes bad every year with a chunk of their produce sent to Nsawam for processing.
While farmers find a ready market with the construction of the processing factory, there are bigger issues the Ekumfi fruit processing factory has to deal with.
The European market is very strict with its standards when it comes to finished fruit products, a major setback for the company.
The company will then have to do more boiled fruits which have a shelf life of one year.
One other major issue to deal with is electricity and Daniel kwarteng indicates there are plans to use a mix of solar, hydro and in the long run a coal plant that will be constructed in the enclave.
The expectations for the ‘One District, One Factory’ project are high and the chief of the area did not mince words about this.
The factory should be completed in June 2018 and the Central Regional Minister, Kwamena Duncan said it will be the game changer for the region.
President Akuffo Addo will officially launch the national plan for the ‘One District, One Factory’ Friday August 25 and the issues to deal with will be raw materials, power supply, markets and meeting the international standards.
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