The senior vice-president of IMANI-Africa has lamented that the cost of sugar would be three times higher than the current imported price of sugar if government fully equips and operationalises the Komenda Sugar Factory.

This, he believes, will be necessitated by the inadequate raw materials for the production of sugar, inefficient investments into the factory, insufficient varieties of sugar to be planted, which is not available in the country and many other factors.

“Even if we import raw materials and produce refined sugar in Komenda, it will cost three times the price of the imported sugar in Ghana.

“The only way to make Komenda work would be to stop all sugar import and force Ghanaians to buy sugar three times the price that does not make sense,” he told Joy Newsfile host Sampson Lardy.

Speaking on Newsfile on Saturday, the private legal practitioner said it would be a complete waste of time for any government to invest money into the sugar factory.

He added that it would be best for government to re-purpose the Komenda Sugar Factory.

“All the work we’ve done shows us that anybody who puts even a dollar behind the Komenda sugar factory like the NPP is promising to do would be wasting that dollar; the best use of the Komenda sugar factory is to re-purpose it,” he noted.

The old factory, built in 1964, became defunct about 30 years ago due to technical difficulties and mismanagement. So resuming operations at the factory was a perfect opportunity to do things right this time around.

Some 7,300 jobs were expected to be created when the factory ran fully in 2016.

The factory, which can crush 1250 tonnes of sugar cane daily, was expected to put a permanent smile on the faces of the farmers, who would directly feed the factory with raw materials and get paid. On May 30, 2016, the factory restored the hope of unemployed youth who dreamt of finally gaining employment.

Former President John Mahama at the commissioning stated that “the income generated by young people would be phenomenal and be able to change their lives”.

The $36.5 million loan sugar factory is not producing sugar. It is idle and currently rusting away, with parts of the roof worn out and torn. Unfortunately, the facility shut down in July 2016 after a few test runs.

It was due to reopen for full production in October 2016 but never did.

Responding to questions about abandoning the project and spending huge sums of monies on sugar importation, Mr Bentil said government can only produce sugar if it commiserates with the quality and price of sugar currently being imported.

After several years of not operating, there have been many calls for government to revive the sugar factory to create employment and contribute to the country’s economy.

On July 23, 2021, Trade Minister Alan Kyeremanten said the government hoped to conclude the fulfilment of the conditions by August this year to pave the way to require the factory to commence activation before the end of the year.

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