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1D1F at Ekumfi yet to start five months after sod-cutting ceremony

Five months after President Akufo-Addo cut sod in the Central Region for what is supposed to be the first of his administration's many factories to be built in districts across the country, there is not much to show for the region.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government had promised during the 2016 election campaign that it would build a factory in each of the country's districts under the One District One Factory (1D1F) initiative.

On August 22 this year, the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo launched the project with the promise to drive industrialization across the country.

At a ceremony at Ekumfi Nanabin in the Central Region, the President cut the sod for the construction of the first factory under the programme.

During the sod-cutting ceremony, the Coordinator of Government’s One District One Factory Programme, Gifty Ohene Konadu, assured that the Exim Bank had released all the monies earmarked for the project while the Italian Company that will oversee the construction of the factory was on site and getting ready for the physical project to start.

The chiefs in the area at the festival encouraged the farmers to go to the cultivation of pineapple to feed the factory because that will boost their income and to sustain the project.

The Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Limited, which is expected be the first factory to be established under the initiative and earmarked for completion in 2018, promises to create over 4,000 direct jobs.

The factory is also expected to employ some 5,000 out growers.

But Joy News’ Correspondent, Richard Kwadwo Nyarko reports that five months down the line, the vast lands released for the project are yet to be used.

“It is like a human head with no hairs. There is nothing on the land,” the reporter narrated.

The Manager of the Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Ltd, Frederick Kobina Acquah, however, explained that management of the factory has learnt from the Komenda Sugar Factory experience where the town's sugar factory ran into difficulties shortly after commissioning because it could not secure its raw materials.

Meanwhile, out-growers from Agona, Gomoa, Ekumfi and other adjoining districts have subscribed to supplying pineapple to feed the factory, and seem ready to deliver.