President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has challenged the private sector to establish the state of the arts industries like the Ekumfi Fruits and Juices factory and produce products which would help cut down on imports in the medium to long term.

This will also stimulate job creation.

The Alliance for Development and Industrialization, (ADI), has learnt that ADB Bank, OBTF and KFW have taken up the challenge.

Currently, ADB in partnership with OVCF and GIRSAL are supporting various businesses that are related to raw material production and community engagement to meet such challenge.

In view of this, Ekumfi Fruits and Juice Factory through the support of ADB is expected to expand its out-growers scheme to employ over 3000 workers within the space of 24 months.

It is also estimated that, Ekumfi factory and its allied businesses is expected to generate an annual revenue exceeding $90million within the next 24 to 36 months. This is still inadequate as the country consumes six times the value and this gives room for other businesses to fill in.

Even if the gap is filled halfway, it is likely to generate GHc2 billion into the economy, and it is for other industries to take advantage of this opportunity so the economy could expand.

This also opens opportunities for farmers who are into the cultivation of commodities such as citrus, mango, passion fruits, pineapple among others, which is estimated to create more than 20, 000 jobs though the value chain process

The Ekumfi Juice factory, a wholly Ghanaian indigenous company has secured funding from the ADB bank to support the expansion of its out-grower scheme.

The credit facility which is to finance Ekumfi out growing partner company has the mandate to cultivate most of the fruits the factory needs. This would help expand the cultivation of pineapples in the Central Region to over 1500 acres to feed the Ekumfi Juice factory.

Additionally, this facility is expected to help the company move from a single shift production to a two shift per day, increasing employment at the farms and factory by about 1,000 and 300 respectively. The move is to make the company commercially more productive and also meet the factory’s daily demand of an average of 8 acres of pineapple.

ADB Bank believes it is timely that such facility comes in to possibly augment the supply of pineapple to the factory and also keep the production of the pineapple juice factory afloat. The reason has been that most companies in the country fold up due to lack of raw materials, hence the need to provide a six year guarantee support.

ADB provided the guarantee underwritten by Ghana Incentive – Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, (GIRSAL), to get KFW financing through the Out-grower Value Chain Fund (OVCF) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA). ADB ventured into this arrangement because it has seen the good product from the Ekumfi Juice Factory and the way the factory was going to impact greatly on the economy as well as the lives of the people.

The factory is currently the largest and only all natural fruit juice on the Ghanaian market.

The facility is also now the biggest fruits processing factory in West Africa, with the capacity to process 10 tons of fruits per hour putting Ghana on the international radar with regard to competition of products on the export market.

The Ekumfi Pineapple Processing Factory is the first factory to be constructed within 18 months under the government’s flagship initiative the ‘One District One Factory’ project in line with the President’s vision and support from Ghana EXIM Bank as well as support from other banks.

The factory is sited on a 50-acre land and has 100-metres length and 50-metres width of factory floor space large enough for additional production works.

The GIRSAL set up by the Bank of Ghana, is a non bank financial institution with the objective to de-risk agricultural financing by issuing agricultural guarantee instruments to enhance the total amount of credit to the agricultural and agribusiness sectors.