The Jasikan District of the Volta Region is set to benefit from the government’s flagship programme One District One Factory (1D1F) following a sod-cutting ceremony for construction of a multi-purpose agro-processing plant near the Buem Senior High School in Jasikan.
Local and international banks funded the project worth $50 million and targeted for processing various agro base produce into finished goods, as a way of tackling the challenge of post-harvest losses in the area.
The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Owusu Afriyie Akoko who was at the event lauded the chiefs and the people for their contributions and encouraged them to take advantage of the government’s policies to develop their communities.
He said the government had reduced the prices of fertilizers drastically saying “instead of buying it at GHS 139, the government is giving it out for GHS 69 which has never happened in the history of the country”.
The minister expressed disappointment at the low number of farmers who have registered for the planting for food and jobs initiative for the past two years and called for immediate steps to be taken to enroll a minimum of 7,000 farmers in the area onto the programme to serve the factory with raw materials.
The Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, reiterated that the 1D1F programme is genuine and the government is very passionate about it.
He appealed to the chiefs and the people in the district to make lands available for developmental projects.
“Most of the lands are lying fallow and if an investor wants to take advantage of it to produce something to employ our youth, we should be able to release land to the investors even if as equity. Let the land not be a barrier I am going to direct many investors to this area, but when there come let land not be a barrier” .
He urged all farmers to take advantage of the planting for food and jobs programmes regardless their political backgrounds saying “let nobody tells you that because it is NPP programme, don’t register, and am calling on all the farmers in the Jasikan enclaves to register for the next planting season” .
Dr. Letsa pleaded with the Agriculture Ministry to work and make the raw materials available for smooth take-off of the factory.
The District Chief Executive for Jasikan District, Lawrence Kwami Aziale noted that the vision of President Akufo Addo is to transform the economic fortune of Ghana into a prosperous economy and to revitalize the rural economy in Ghana through initiatives including the 1D1F.
He disclosed that the Nananoom had released twenty thousand acres of land to the district assembly out of which 50 acres is currently serving the factory.
He revealed that 5,000 acres of that land has also been surveyed by the assembly and is presently ready for any investor especially that will go into the cultivation of cassava to augment a cassava processing factory in the district.
The factory will be spearheaded by a German-based Edge Agro Industries and Farms and expected to operate 24 hours a day.
Head of the Project Implementation Team, Kofi Obeng Ayirebi said the project is expected to last for 60 months, with the first and second phase taking about 18 and 36 months respectively and machines are scheduled to arrive on the shores of Ghana in January 2019.
Mr. Obeng Ayirebi confirmed that raw materials for production are available and warehouses will be available to store excess production.
The factory upon completion will process cocoa, shea nuts, soybean, coffee and variety of food crops, attached the factory will be clinic, sports field, and other tourist attraction sites.
Nana Osaberima Antwi-Agyei V, Twafohene of Buem Traditional Area, and chief of Okadjakrom praised the government for the move saying programmes and policies of the NPP government will soon see Ghana among the world’s producing countries.
He called on Ghanaians to support various governments’ intervention programmes to address the economic deficiencies.
He, therefore, appealed to the government to speed up the process of fixing the roads in the area to enhance smooth movement of the people as well to serve the factory’s daily activities.