You cannot sell Komenda Sugar Factory to create unemployment-ICU

General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), Solomon Kotei, has said it would not be surprising if the Komenda Sugar Factory were sold.

He told Kwabena Agyapong on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that the decision to sell the factory is an open secret but a bad decision.

But Mr. Kotei says the decision would be to the detriment of residents in the area who may be directly or indirectly employed.

Describing the decision as improper, the ICU General Secretary said the interest of Ghanaians will not be served if the Akufo-Addo administration goes ahead with the planned sale.

To him, the only thing needed for the factory to run is sugar, hence the need to empower farmers to grow more sugarcane to help the factory produce more sugar.

The Sugar Factory, built at a cost of $35million from an Indian Exim Bank facility, was inaugurated by Mr. Mahama in May 2016, amidst pomp and pageantry. 

With a capacity to crush 1,250 tonnes of sugarcane per day, the Factory was expected to change Ghana’s dependence on sugar imports. As of 2016, Ghana’s annual sugar requirement was estimated at 375,000 tonnes.

The factory was also expected to generate energy for its production activities and produce by-products such as molasses for the alcohol industry.

But the factory has been faced with some challenges.

The factory could not operate efficiently due to the unavailability of raw material.

Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyerematen, told Parliament that a $24.5million Indian Exim Bank credit facility was being secured to develop and implement a plantation and out-grower scheme in a bid to provide raw materials for the factory.

But the funds were yet to be released as announced by the minister.

Mr. Kotei believes sugarcane farmers in the area should be supported to grow more raw materials to support the factory.

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