Speaking at Ekumfi in the Central Region on Friday 21 August 2020, President Akufo-Addo said the Ekumfi Fruits & Juices factory is a wholly Ghanaian-owned company and has one of the most modern automated agro-processing plants in the country.
“A total investment of $15 million, of which $10 million was a facility from Ghana EXIM Bank, has been made. At present, the production capacity of the factory is ten tonnes of processed juice per hour, utilising some 10,000 fruits per hour.
“This means that [operating at full capacity] this factory requires four acres of pineapple fruit to be harvested for processing every hour,” he said.
Commissioning the operation, the President recounted how, on 21 August 2017, some seven months after taking office, he cut the sod for construction of the Ekumfi Fruits & Juices factory, the first One District, One Factory project executed by his government.
“In my remarks, I appealed for the unalloyed support of every Ghanaian for the success of this project,” he said. “Unfortunately, our political opponents did not heed this call, with some going as far as calling this project a hoax and a political gimmick, and with some describing it as ‘a grasscutter breeding house’.”
High-quality products and services
The president continued, “Nearly three years down the line, we have confounded the doubting Thomases, and I am very happy to be back here in Ekumfi and, indeed, very proud to commission the Ekumfi Fruits & Juices factory.
“As we can all see, this project has been well planned and well thought through, with the raw materials needed for the successful implementation of this project already present and an outgrower scheme in place.”
Explaining the rationale for the 1D1F initiative, President Akufo-Addo noted that the initiative is designed to transform Ghana’s industrial landscape and build the capacity of local entrepreneurs and existing enterprises to produce high-quality products and services for both domestic and foreign markets.
Further, it seeks to create employment, particularly for the youth, in rural and peri-urban communities, and thereby improve income levels and standards of living, as well as reduce rural-urban migration.
“That is why Ekumfi, which is one of the richest districts in the country in terms of natural resources, has validated the government’s approach to industrialisation through value addition,” the president said.
With 1,000 acres of pineapple under cultivation, and employing about 475 outgrowers, the factory has created direct employment opportunities for over 550 people, including engineers, food scientists, marketing professionals, accountants and technicians. In addition, more than 1,000 indirect job opportunities have been created in Ekumfi and adjoining districts.
“The Ekumfi Fruits & Juices factory is yet another example of the government’s determination to promote the industrial transformation of our country. The government will continue to partner the private sector to establish similar modern factories, which would be globally competitive, and take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area that will begin trading on 1 January next year,” he said.
Commending the promoters of Ekumfi Fruits & Juices for putting up a modern processing facility in Ekumfi Nanaben in line with the government’s Industrial Transformation Agenda, President Akufo-Addo also thanked the chiefs and traditional authorities for releasing land for the project.
He urged all farmers and workers to be disciplined and eschew any negative tendencies which might undermine the success of this great project.
Click on the link below to listen to the president’s speech during the commissioning ceremony.
Wilberforce Asare / Asaase Radio