The Trade and Industry Ministry has flatly debunked media reports that the recently commissioned Komenda Sugar factory has been closed down.
Baffled by the reports, Nana Akrasi-Sarpong, Ag. Director, Communication and Public Affairs at the Ministry in a statement wondered “for what purpose” it would be shutdown.
Dr Kwame Nkrumah built the factory in 1966. It ceased operations 1981 and later liquidated in 1998 under the NDC government.
The factory was revamped through private partnership and was commissioned by President John Dramani Mahama on May 30 at Komenda in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) District of the Central Region.
The factory is to produce sugar both for domestic use and export.
Barely 48 hours after the factory was re-opened, it was reported that it has been shut down for maintenance.
But the Trade Ministry reacted saying, “The speculation that the factory has been closed down for maintenance work is inaccurate. How can a factory that was recently commissioned be closed down? And for what purpose?”
PILOT AND TEST STAGE
The statement however noted that the factory would be shut down later this month and resume full production in October/November when the major harvesting period for sugarcane begins.
“The factory is now in a piloting and testing stage where calibration of the machines and equipment is taking place,” the statement added.
“The Government is committed to the success of the factory, likewise the Indian Government, and all measures are being taken to ensure that,” it assured.
It also noted that haggling of the producer price has been concluded with the farmers. The sugarcane would now be bought at GHC90 per ton, a jump from the initial price tag of GHC60.
SUGAR DEVELOPMENT BOARD
The statement also announced that “government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry has worked on a Sugar Policy and a Sugar Act over the past years, and these will be presented to Cabinet and Parliament soon, to guide the entire sector based on lessons learnt. A major instrument for managing the sector would be the establishment of a Sugar Development Board.”
Story by Isaac Essel | 3news.com | Ghana