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Komenda Sugar Factory still not ready for full operations – Minister

It appears the Komenda Sugar Factory will idle longer than expected, as a myriad of challenges including the lack of raw materials have stalled full operations.

A Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka Lindsay outlined the challenges that have prevented the factory which was commissioned for work to start in May 2016 by former President John Mahama.

Highlighting these challenges on the Citi Breakfast Show, the Minister indicated that the variety of sugarcane planted on lands secured for sugar production at Komenda did not contain the appropriate levels of sugar content for production.

“The variety that has been planted of which about 25 acres is ready to be transplanted is the variety that does not have the sugar content to make it economic for us to plant another 2,000 acres. The second point is that 2,000 acres will not be anywhere near enough to meet the need of the actual factory. So we have address variety issues and ensure that we have enough lands to make sure to ensure that the appropriate number of sugarcane needed for sugar is available

The Minister indicated these challenges might unnecessarily drag moves to make the factory operational in record time.

He however indicated that government is taking measures to resolve these challenges.

“We aware of some of the challenges and we are addressing them. We have been in contact with the managers of the factory for sometime now and we have been constantly been engaged.”

This revelation comes in the wake of government’s plans to revive some factories that have been defunct for sometime now.

The Komenda Sugar Factory which was shut down for weeks after President Mahama commissioned it in May 2016 was reopened 7 days before election.

Government was subsequently criticized for hurriedly opening the factory merely for political expediency in an election year, despite the lack of raw materials for production.

Gov’t doesn’t have skills to run sugar factory – Nduom

Founder and leader of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr. Paa Kwesi Ndoum, suggested at the time that President John Dramani Mahama and his administration lack the required capacity to effectively run a business such as the Komenda Sugar Factory.

The renowned entrepreneur, who had criticized what he called the hasty opening of the Komenda Sugar Factory, questioned the rationale behind government’s decision to among others borrow money to start running the factory without planning for raw materials to feed it.

He said the decision to borrow all the money needed as startup capital for the factory, breaches the rules of entrepreneurship.

Critics had earlier warned that government’s decision to inaugurate the factory without the needed raw materials such as the unavailability of sugarcane to feed the factory, unattractive prices for sugarcane produced by farmers and the high cost of irregular electrical power, may soon cripple it.

By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana