A team of researchers from the University of Cape Coast is poised to collaborate with stakeholders to get the Komenda Sugar Factory operating once again.
Using biotechnology, the team from the College of Agricultural Sciences of the university is expected to provide raw material for the factory.
Former President John Mahama commissioned the revamped Komenda Sugar Factory at Komenda in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem of the Central Region in May 2016 to produce sugar.
The factory was re-constructed through an Indian Exim Bank loan to crush 1,250 tonnes of sugarcane per day.
Ghanaians anticipated the factory will create jobs for more than 7,300 people and transform the economy however the case is different.
More than a year after the commissioning of the new factory, the country still imports sugar, a situation said to be the reason for the collapse of the old factory.
But UCC in a press conference said it is however ready to play a role in meeting the raw material need of the factory, noting it “has the Research Expertise in place that is putting together a short term and long term plan for execution in collaboration with other stakeholders”.
The team believes lack of research and adequate planning before the commissioning of the factory last year is contributing to the challenges at the factory as its unable to operate fully.
Dr. Aaron Tettey Asare, Senior Lecturer at the university who spoke for the team indicated that the country “has a requisite soil and climate factors for sugarcane cultivation”.
As the operation of the sugar factory will be in line with President Akufo-Addo’s 1-district-1-factory, the team is calling on the government for support.
The researchers said they “had used a micropropagation tool of biotechnology to establish sugarcane cultures in the laboratory” last year and a pilot plantation this year ahead of meeting stakeholders ready to be in board.
But until the Komenda Sugar Factory gets raw materials to operate, Ghana’s dependence on sugar importation will continue.
By Spencer Kwabena Boateng Mensah|3News|Cape Coast