A multi-million cedi Jute Factory in Kumasi constructed by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah continues to rot away while Ghana imports jute sacs to bag cocoa beans and other cash crops.
The defunct state enterprise used to provide economic opportunity, through ready market for kenaf farmers in the Afram Plains and employed hundreds of youth at the factory site.
Luv FM’s Erastus Asare Donkor looks at the Jute Factory whose operation ground to a halt in the early 1990s in Joy FM’s weekly series on abandoned projects in the Ashanti Region.
These huge warehouse structures, covering a vast area of land, the size of four football stadia combined sit in gloom on a hill, overlooking Ahensan, the industrial hub of Kumasi.
It consists of a huge factory house, stretching over a long distance, compacting and manufacturing equipment rusting by the day.
Built in 1962 by construction expert, Taylor Woodrow, under the Nkrumah regime, Kumasi Jute Factory provided direct employment to over 400 people, mostly youth.
Farmers in the Afram Plains found financial solace in growing kenaf, the plant fibre used to produce sacs.
It reduced the country’s importation of jute bags from neighboring Nigeria.
Lawyer F.A. Jantuah an Agric Minister in Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s government blames the PNDC military administration for the total collapse of the factory.
But Opanyin Asare who worked closely with the factory until it folded up in 1991, says there was inadequate supply of raw material to feed the factory at the time.
Currently, Cocoa companies spend huge amounts to import jute sacs from Niger, Burkina Faso and Nigeria while Ghana’s own jute factory sits in ruins under divestiture.
Lawyer Jantuah and Opanyin Asare believe Ghana still need such a venture to boost both local and national economies.
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