Dear Right Hon Speaker,
I pray and hope this mail reaches you in good health.
Hon Speaker, we were taught in the middle school that due to value addition to the abundance of raw materials especially cotton and sugar cane from the Agrarian (Agricultural) Sector for wealth creation occasioned or catalyzed the establishment of the Agro-industry with the associated principle of backward integration (a company buying another Company in the supply chain say a factory or Refinery buys a Company that provides raw material or services, hence the buying Company buys another Company behind it or at the downstream.
The Agricultural sector which was driven by the Agro processing industry for value addition and wealth creation brought about the Industrial Revolution in the 18th Century in Britain and helped developed a 24hour economy thus helped Britain to develop a very stable economy which was based on the ideology of Capitalism or the free market economy as propounded by Adam Smith.
So, the stable economy or wealth of Britain was among others on the backbone of Agribusinesses especially cotton, sugar, tea etc and the associated agro-industries hence a combination or matrix of farming, farming industrial, commerce etc for value addition, for food security and wealth creation and not necessary with the mentality for job creation, the wrong mentality of some Politicians in African. This has contributed to the woes of Ghana, due to a wrong mentality of creation of jobs with the Agro Industry and not making the Agricultural sector and the associated agro processing industries to be regarded as for food security and for value addition respectively and both for wealth creation which will virtually increase job numbers.
It is not surprised that Ghana with this kind of mentality of seeing the Agric sector as for creation of jobs that the Regime of President Nana Addo came out a very bad national mantra of Planting for Food and for Jobs instead of Planting for Food Security and Wealth Creation.
This situation of seeing the Agric Sector as for jobs and not for business or for wealth creation has made River Volta and other rivers in Ghana not regarded as a very important Economy or Agric Resource for wealth creation. The river Volta has rather been left to become a problem with the associated hazard of flooding and spillages especially from River Volta’s associated dams like Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso, the Akosombu Dam and the Kpong Dam in Ghana to additional problem in poverty misery despite the massive arable lands near to the great River Volta.
Sir, let me cite two examples to drive my point that Agric Sector with the associated Agro Industry must be regarded as business for wealth creation home. The Jospong Group has recently discovered that massive Rice Production as part of the import substitution policy of the Government, is an area it can expand the Group’s wealth and has invited foreign partners from Thailand to team up with it to generate more wealth or returns to investment and not necessary to create jobs, of course more hands will be needed but that is not the idea of the business man.
Mr Kwame Despite and his brother Dr Sarpong were recently convinced of an area to add more wealth by the current Hon Agric Minister was investment in the Agric sector due to import substitution policy being executed by his Ministry and the Ministry of Trade and Industry. They were encouraged to invest in massive production of poultry products, that is the need for private businessmen to venture or risk into the poultry industry for gains in wealth creation and not necessary for job creation, of course jobs will be created but that is not the rear mindset of the businessman and the Minister of Agric in his import substitution bid. The job creation will not and will never be the interest of the Governor Bank of Ghana when supporting the fiscal side with funds to help in price stabilization or to meet macroeconomic and financial stability.
Mr Speaker, the great River Volta which should be regarded as a gold mine which emanates from the North with massive virgin arable land and traverses most of the regions of Ghana including the Bono East Region/Bono Region and then winds through the Eastern Region with a twist through the Oti Region to Volta Region and finally to part of Accra and empties into the Atlantic Ocean around Ada Foah is a great potential asset that has awaited for decades to be used for 24hours economy for wealth creation for macroeconomic stability and virtually inclusive growth with all year round activities when used for farming under
Irrigation with the associated agro industries including Rice Mills, Tomatoes factories, Sugar Mills, Sugar Refinery, for fishery businesses, river transportation, hydropower generation.
So, Mr Speaker, it is envisaged that Africa especially Ghana is failing to make a successful breakthrough in her macroeconomic fundamentals and virtually inclusive growth through Agric and Agro-industry or Agribusiness because of the very bad or wrong mentality of our Political Leaders of always thinking of or talking of or seeing Agribusiness especially the Agro-industry as a vehicle for creation of jobs instead as of them seeing Agribusiness as a vehicle for food security and creation of wealth or for import substitution which virtually creates more jobs in attempt to preserve wealth and or generate more wealth.
When Dr Esther Afua Ocloo Nkulenu, the global icon in business par excellence completed her ‘O’ level education in 1941 repeat 1941, and it was difficult for her to get a job between 1941 and 1943, so she was forced in 1943 to start as a street vendor later on a cottage industry in marmalade, orange juice and shito in the food industry. To preserve the food items as part of food security and creation of more wealth through value addition, Lady Esther Ocloo pioneered the idea of commercial canning or bottling of food items in Ghana.
To create more wealth, she expanded her Agribusiness into the garment industry and pioneered tie and dye industry for wealth creation and not necessary job creation. To open and sustain a huge market for her goods, she initiated the first made in Ghana goods exhibition in 1958 with the mindset of expanding the agribusiness for generation of wealth.
The lessons from Esther Ocloo are numerous these include the Agribusiness (Agro-industry) should be regarded as a business or gold mine for wealth creation and not necessary for jobs.
The failure of Ghana in the Fourth Republic to improve in her economic fundamentals is due to the mentality of our Leaders always talking of creation of jobs (populism) in the Agric Sector instead of providing the enabling environment for the creation of wealth or vehicle for import substitution (domestication) as demonstrated by Lady Esther and the recent entry into the Agric Sector by Dr Siaw Agyapong, the businessman or the Jospong Group in massive rice production or the interest of Mr Kwame Despite in the Poultry Industry.
Another big lesson from Lady Esther Nkulenu is the importance of Exhibition or the showcase of Made in Ghana Goods, so we should revisit the idea of National Agric show or National Agric Exhibition. It was based on the good idea of Lady Esther Ocloo that President Nkrumah introduced in Ghana National Agric Show to showcase Agric equipment, products or Ghanaian goods to derive the Agric sector and replace the National farmers’ day. The best honor for a farmer is cheap and readily available inputs, ready market at good price. So, the food or Commodity Market with electronic warehousing being developed by the Government must accelerated.
It is high time our leaders see the Agric Sector and the associated Agro-business as a vehicle for both food security and wealth creation, consequently, for the improvement on the macroeconomic fundamentals of Ghana and not necessary for job creations hence job for boys and girls so they will not work hard and they will not think far that is out of the box like how Lady Esther Ocloo did when she could not get a job in 1941 I repeat in 1941. With God, she was able to set up big Industries in Food Industry, Garment Industry etc for wealth creation and as such she has provided jobs for her Compatriots including some PHD Holders with some with Pull Her Down (PHD) syndromes including thievery and corrupt acts.
So, our leaders, hence the Executive Arm of Government and Parliament must ensure to create the enabling environment for businesses to derive. For instance, in 2013 an Indian Company named Raj Kumar Impex established a Cashew Factory (Agro-industry) in Techiman to process fifty tones of cashew nut in a (per) day but due to power supply problem, (the prolonged Dumsor) the business collapsed. Also due to unbearable tax in Ghana and erratic power supply another Cashew Factory by name Ghananut also in Techiman was forced to relocate to Burkina Faso in 2016 where power besides being assured is very cheap as well as to benefit from less tax.
It was therefore not economical sound for our Governments or Regimes in the Fourth Republic, especially the Regime of President Nana Addo with the populist idea of Planting for food and for Jobs (hence political value and not economic value) hence modest achievement was made with the Minister talking of he created jobs during loading and offloading of fertilizer etc . This was the situation of Komenda Sugar Factory as this submission will reveal.
Right Hon Speaker, the study of the Political history of Ghana thus encompasses the Political and economy matter of the Agric Sector with the associated Agro Industries especially issues of soya beans, tomatoes and Sugar production in Ghana hence Komenda Sugar Factory is sine qua non for Ghana to take a firm and final decision on the Komenda Sugar Factory to ensure value for money before the equipment become obsolete or rusted.
Mr Speaker you and the Hon MPs need to fear God, thus exhibit honesty, intelligence and patriotism by coming to your right senses so as to unanimously agree that the establishment of the Sugar Production Series especially the Sugar Refinery at Komenda was a serious error in economics, so that Parliament through you sits up in order to operationalize only the Komenda Sugar Refinery by the immediate importation of raw sugar at favorable tax condition etc. for the Sugar Refinery through a vehicle of Private and Public Partnership Programme or a total hand over to a Private firm for wealth creation.
It should not I repeat it should not be placed under Ghana Industry Holding Corporation (GIHOC) or SIGA for it to be regarded as a job creation cost center like COCOBOD. Hmm, COCOBOD since it was established has always depended on the annual ritual of a syndicated loan (Robbing Peter to Pay Paul syndrome) to buy cocoa and pay her numerous employees or personnel with fat salaries. Cry the Beloved Country. COCOBOD is always with huge losses and the best our Hon MPs especially from the Minority Group could do yearly is to shout ehi, ehi, ooh, ooh in Parliament with the sitting Speaker nodding his head like a Lizard.
Please, sell it at reduce or reasonable price to strategic investors without further waste of time. With time the cost will be recovered through the taxation especially by VAT. Otherwise it will become another story of the Osagyefo Power Barge which Ghana bought at 240 Million Dollars but it never generated power and Ghana rather incurred additional high cost in security and legal battles and loss the Power Barge to Scrap Dealers through thievery.
Before I digress on the woes of Komenda Sugar factory and the way forward, I wish to state that as part of a future import Substitution policy for sugar consumption in Ghana and may be export of sugar and ethanol, we need to support Bui Dam Sugar Factory being established and the planned joint partnership between Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Bono East Regional Coordinating Council for a Sugar Factory for wealth creation for the principal investors. I am sure the budget before you speaks on what support Parliament can help in the Agric Sector. Alhaji Dangote is a businessman always thinking of wealth creation, so he wants to help the import substitution bid of Ghana or improvement of the economic fundamentals of Ghana, he is not hear the create jobs that is out of the equation.
Mr Speaker, as part of measures to improve on the economic fundamentals cum import substitution as well as to reduce the perennial flooding at the upper Volta and Spillage at the Akosombu Dam, urgent action for the planned Multipurpose hydroelectric power Dam cum Irrigation near Savelegu in the North East Region and the Multipurpose Hydroelectric cum Irrigation Dam in Upper East Region, so ensure we get these projects come on board.
Thanks to God for the Second Northern Battle between two brothers namely Former President Mahama and Vice President Dr Bawumia. Whoever becomes President of Ghana must see to these projects to help in the improvement of the economy fundamentals of Ghana and arrest or reduce the perennial flooding of river Volta and spillage from the Bagre Dam and Akosombu Dam
Enter Komenda Sugar Factory, Komenda Sugar factory which was initially a sugar beet farm, warehouse and factory was started by a Dutch with 400 acres of sugar beet farm for sugar beet industry for processing sugar beet into sucrose or sugar for wealth creation. The Dutch Komenda Sugar Beet Factory was later on acquired and developed by the Czechoslovakian State firm namely Technoexport into mini Sugar Cane Factory for wealth creation. Before 1990, Sugar cane was very abundant with large sugar cane farms in the Central Region, some stretching from Winneba to the Komenda Enclave and beyond to the Western Region due to free massive hectares of land.
To satisfy a political campaign promise by President Nkrumah to local gin distillers for the improvement on their safety and environmental standards in the distilling of gin as well as for political reason of spatial equity in the distribution of industries, the CCP Regime in the First Republic, acquired from Technoexport the Sugar Production Series with a payment of 2million dollars in 1963 by President Nkrumah and transferred a sugar cane plant equipment meant for Tsito to establish the Komenda Sugar cane milling and Sugar Refinery and preparation of Molasses etc.
This was therefore more of a political reason and not necessary for economy value. So it collapsed due to numerous problems including not enough feed of sugar cane for the factory.
Why Komenda Sugar Factory in the Fourth Republic despite adequate reports and studies that show Komenda as not suitable for Sugar Production Series (Refinery inclusive), the studies rather show that areas in the Volta Region, in the North East Region, the Bono and Bono East Regions and in the Senchi area have better comparative advantages than Komenda. The very painful matter is that the old Komenda Sugar Factory of Dr Nkrumah was for political reason and not an economic viable project as stated above due to lack of adequate feed.
The idea to site the Sugar factory (Refinery) at Komenda was/is a confirmation that our leaders had/have very bad advisers or do not take good advice, otherwise they cannot appreciate the right way of doing things and when they make a mistake, they failed/fail to appreciate the situation and take a reasonable course of action with minimum delay. We must be Honest, Bold and Patriotic, so as to say it as it is with anger. Komenda Sugar Factory is bad investment but something can be done to make the Refinery unit to operate. So this submission.
The very sad case of the Komenda Sugar Production Series speaks volume of the incompetent state of some of our technical advisers /leaders. Since, the siting of the Sugar Factory (Refinery) at Komenda was very wrong or a very big mistake (it was not of economic value due no enough sugar cane feed of the right brix content which should be within 40miles radius of the Sugar Mill/ due to lack of sufficient land for a plantation, poor soil at the area for the required sugar cane and not very good climatic conditions especially adequate sunshine for very good yield of over 80 tonnes per hectare, the issues of the activities of illegal/small scale miners in the Pra River thus increasing cost of production due to the pollution of water.
Furthermore, issue of a very poor or wrong understanding of the principle of backward integration by the initiators which simply mean when a Company purchases another company for the supplies of product(s) or services required that is a Company in the Upstream acquiring a Company behind it at the downstream supply chain or simply company acquiring the supplier of raw material or service.
The allegation that the establishment of Komenda Sugar Production Series was based on the idea of Backward Integration is difficult to understand. Sugar Production Series is made of three Standalone Business units which can be different locations namely the Sugar Plantation which feed the second unit as Sugar Mill (Sugarcane Crusher and extraction of raw sugar). The Sugar Mill must be within 40miles radius of the Sugar Cane Farm and the sugar cane must be crushed within 18hrs in order to obtain good quality raw sugar.
The Sugar Mill in turns feeds the Sugar Factory or Refinery unlike the Sugar Mill which must be within 40 miles radius, a Sugar Refinery can be in any part of the World so in Ghana anywhere and for economic reason close to or at Tema is better or the best to receive cheap raw sugar all over the world to produce consumable sugar or Sucrose needed by the Pharmaceutical Industry and Commercial firms that required sugar for production or sugar for home consumption or for manufacture of ethanol (biofuel) for export.
A sugar Refinery must work 24/7 all year round with feed from all over Ghana and the rest of the World whichever is cheaper. For instance, it may be cheaper for a Refinery to get cheap Raw Sugar from Brazil or India or Nigeria than from the Komenda Enclave.
So, what the experts should have advised was a very big sugar Refinery at the Tema enclave and private Sugar Mills where sugar cane or sugar beet is grown or produced on farms for the Sugar Mill to produce raw sugar. So, Sugar Mills all over Ghana close to areas where sugarcane are grown adequately to feed the capacity of the Sugar Mill and the Sugar Mills in turn feed the Sugar Refinery at Tema with raw Sugar to produce Sugar or Ethanol.
A Sugar or Ethanol Refinery at Tema will facilitate any need to import raw sugar at a cheap cost for value addition to produce sugar and or ethanol and work 24/7 for profit. So with time, the Sugar Refinery can used the principle of backward integration to buy some of the Sugar Mills in Ghana or India or Brazil or within Africa or enter off taker agreement with a Sugar Mill for supply of raw sugar.
In Ghana the North East with good sunshine and massive arable land close to River Volta for usage for irrigation and power should have been the place for Sugar Plantation and Sugar Factory and not Komenda, due no adequate arable landed at Komenda, which has mostly scattered small holders or peasant farmer at Komenda.
The State also failed to provide a very good National sugar Policy with favorably terms for both the famers and the factory, including off taker agreement with good price of Sugar cane to the factory. For instance, farmers at Komenda were not ready to sell Sugarcane at GHC60.00 per tonnes as demanded by the Factory. The factory must be given a benefit of zero tax or tax rebate to ensure the survival of the factory
Komenda Sugar Factory, consequently has become an albatross around the neck of the Country thus depicts our brand of not learning from history before doing things or herein the setting up of the Komenda Factory by the initiators (the Seventh Parliament and the Executive).
What is more disturbing is subsequent leaders both in the Eighth Parliament and the Executive Arms of Government of President Nana Addo’s regime (the former and current Minister of Trade and Industry) together with our respected Intelligentsia and the Media failure to think outside the box for appropriate actions towards cost recovery and to meet partly the reason for the Sugar Refinery, so that make at least the Sugar Refinery working by importing raw sugar for it at zero tax. This situation thus amplifies the foolhardiness in Ghana.
Surprisingly as stated, some of our Intelligentsias in the associated fields in Agronomy and Economics are not helping the country with good solutions by linking academic work with common sense. For instance, none of some of our respected intelligentsias who speak on issues in the associated field had/has the testicular fortitude to tell the initiators that they had it wrong including not understand the concept of backward integration otherwise it speaks volume of a likelihood of ignorance on the part of the affected intelligentsias.
This silence, has made it difficult for the former and current Minister for Trade and Industry of the current regime to gain public support for appropriate actions to operationalize at least the refinery. Hence this submission to you the Right Hon of Speaker of Parliament to get a Strategic investor to operate the Refinery with imported raw sugar.
Parliament of Ghana which amongst others is the House of Representatives, scrutinizes policies from the Executive as well as for the approval of the National Budgets/Agreements and the enactment of laws has become a problem to Ghana for not able to solve the very disgraceful situation of Komenda Sugar Factory and also not helping in the import substitution bid to be explained later.
Thanks to God, that you, (Right Hon Speaker of Parliament) are friendly/acceptable to both the President, the Majority Group or the NPP, and their Flag bearer and the Minority Group or the NDC and their Flag bearer hence, the choice of God for Ghana at this time of a Hung Parliament to deal with difficult national problem in Parliament. So, I hereby appeal to you to rise to the occasion to ensure at least the Sugar Refinery unit of Komenda Sugar Development Company is operationalized. At least the Sugar Refinery must be used to treat imported Raw Sugar into Sucrose and ethanol either by Strategic Investors by acceptable agreement between the State and the Investors.
Mr Speaker how much to sell Komenda Sugar Factory must not be based on cost incurred in the construction. The determinants should include, the evaluation of the current state of the factory and most importantly the Availability of adequate raw material (adequate sugarcane within 40miles radius or raw sugar at a reasonable cost to the factory) or the possibility of the factory through itself or with the support of out growers to produce the sugar cane due to available and adequate arable land for the factory to set up own plantation. This should be coupled with good climatic condition and irrigation facility or the possibility of backward integration with Sugar Mill(s) or alternative usage to ensure the operation of the factory.. This is a commonsense theory.
Mr Speaker, you may need to know more about Sugarcane and further info on the Political and Economy issues with Sugar cane production in Ghana, so the below details for your consumption.
Sugarcane belong to the grass family which includes cereals like maize, guinea corn, millet and rice. Depending on variety and cultural practices, it take 9 to 17months to mature, staggering the planting process can provide two to three harvests in a year. The yield depends on crop management practice. The average yield is between 60 tonnes per hectare and 70 tonnes per hectare but with good management (Cultural) practices including water supply management, pest and disease control, fertilization (fertilizer application say with NPK) coupled with abundant sunshine, it is possible to increase production.
So, with good management in desert areas in Egypt gave up to 120 tonnes per hectare and with two to three harvests. Sugar cane is used to produce sucrose for domestic and industrial consumption (pharmaceuticals, soft drinks, confectionery, beverages etc) and ethanol for mainly for industries and automobile as biofuel, the bye product of sugar production especially bagasse can be used to generate power and for the paper industry etc.
The Political Economy of Ghana as far the Agricultural Sector and the Agro-industrial Sector are concerned has not been based on sound economic value but on Political value with the wrong concept of Politicians speaking of creating jobs instead providing the enabling environment for creating of wealth which will virtually generate the needed sustainable jobs.
According to D. Rimmer (1966) in his submission on ‘The Crisis in the Ghana Economy’ as well as in Rimmer (1992) in his submission in ‘Staying Poor the Ghana Political Economy from 1950 to 1990’, in the 1960 there was astronomical rising in exportation in Ghana by over 123 percent and that of sugar only was over 120 percent whilst general import was less than 34percent thus dwindling foreign exchange in the system and the Reserve with Bank of Ghana.
According Rimmer, a problem of rising food prices ensued , hence fear of political tension was faced by the regime of the CCP especially in the North with less endowed natural resources and poor development hence a huge gap of the North-South development was rearing its ugly head. President Nkrumah was therefore forced to quickly come out with import substitution policy integrated with spatially equitable agro-industrial plan as both economically and politically expedient.
President Nkrumah came about with the Plan of growing of food items especially sugar, tomatoes, rice, maize, etc, that were mostly imported. Nkrumah initial plan was a large scale sugar cane, cereal and tomato plantations and agro processing industries in the North, otherwise the establishment of State Food Production Corporation and State Food Distribution throughout Ghana.
So, Ghana under President Nkrumah came out with the First Comprehensive Agro-industries policy in 1962 with the Seven Year Development Plan for National Reconstruction and Development based on socialist economic policy to be driven by various vehicles including a planned construction of the Akosombu Hydroelectric Dam in as the backbone for National Development in 1963. Nkrumah quickly established the National Investment Bank in 1963 with a mandate to facilitate modernization of the industrial sector especially the Agro-industries.
Dr Nkrumah said the Plan was aimed at three areas namely (a) to uproot the colonial structure of the economy which President Nana Addo dubbed as the Goggisburg economy (b). Speed up the growth of economy. (c). By Equitable Spatial distribution of Institutions especially industries to engender a socialist economy through developing the State and Cooperative Sectors of businesses etc. President Dr Nkrumah intention was to ensure spatial equity in agro-industrial development and import substitution.
Mr Right Hon Speaker, Komenda factory was started by a Dutch with 400 acres of sugar beet farm with a sugar beet warehouse and a factory for processing sugar beet. It was later on developed by the Czechoslovakian State firm Technoexport into Sugar Cane Processing Plant
As part of President Nkrumah aimed at checking safety and environmental hazards associated with the distilling of the local gin called Akpteshi at the Central Region which was a campaign promise made to the distillers for a sugar factory for sugar and molasses. So in the fulfillment of the promise made to the locals and in line with the policy of spatial equity in the establishment of Industries, the Government of Ghana under President Nkrumah paid 1.2 Million Dollars and acquired Technoexport in1963 and diverted a Plant for Sugar Factory at Tsito and established Komenda Sugar factory.
President Nkrumah, also paid 2million dollars to acquire sugar cane production and processing plant at, Asustuare which was initially established by a Polish Firm CEKOP. The initial Komenda Sugar Factory was established due to a Political decision and not really an economic one. Both factories were retooled in 1973 by the General Acheampong Regime and placed under Ghana Sugar Estate.
The highest combined achievement of both Komenda Sugar Factory and Asustuare Sugar Plant was 18,000 tonnes representing 41 percent of their capacity this was even attained with the support of imported raw sugar factory to be fed to the factory and sugar produced by State Farms and Cooperative farm holders as out growers during the regime of General Acheampong on the backbone of the OPERATION FEED YOUR INDUSTRY during the regime of General Acheampong.
Due to technical reasons including poor choice of location, high cost of production, poor management, water and energy shortage, obsolete equipment, low feed of sugar cane due to low yield of not more 30 metric tonnes per hectare made both firms to become defunct under the regime of the PNDC around 1995 and were thus placed under Divesture Implementation Committee. Asustruare was bought by a Chinese Firm and installed paper producing equipment as Paper etc factory and is still in good business.
Development of Sugar Production as import Substitution in the Fourth Republic
The idea of reviving the Komenda Sugar Factory was visited by the Regime of President Kofour in 2002 but this was abandoned due to expert advice. So in order to reduce the huge importation of Sugar, the Kofour Regime in 2007 sought the support of the Government of Brazil, the World leading producer of Sugar to study the possibility of a viable and cost effective Sugar Production Series (Sugar Plantation, Sugar Mill and Sugar Refinery. The Government of Brazil commissioned a Brazilian Company Embrampa to do the studies.
The Brazilians found the North East Region especially Savelegu near River Dakar, a tributary of River Volta as one of the good areas for commercial sugar plantation and establishment of both Sugar Mill and Sugar Factory (Refinery) with the capacity to produce 80percent as productive as Sao Paulo in Brazil. With yield not less than 75 metric tonnes per hectare.
Coincidentally, the current President, President Luiz Lula Da Silva was in 2007 as the Head of State of Brazil, he and his government were very happy with the results of the feasibility study So the Brazilian planned to offer 260 Million Dollars to Northern Sugar Resources to establish sugar plantation and ethanol plant in Northern Ghana so that Ghana could also export ethanol. The project was shot down by my northern brothers in Parliament accused President Kufuour of land
Then in 2010, President Mills tried to see how he can revive Komenda Sugar Factory through Cargill International but he was told by Cargill International that it was not cost effective to do so and that Cargill will prefer the establishment of a Sugar Refinery in Tema with 100million dollars with initial capacity of 450,000 tonnes to process imported raw sugar but to convert Komenda and Asustuare to produce ethanol with imported sugar raw.
In 2013 President Mahama visited Mauritius and invited Omanicane Flexi Sugar Cane Cluster to replicate same Sugar production series in Ghana Google for Mauritius Sugar Cane Sweeten trade with Ghana dated 10 September 2014. In 2014 after studies made in Ghana, Omanicane Flexi announced readiness to invest 250 Million Dollars over five years in Savelegu to cultivate 20,000 hectares of sugar cane to produce 120,000 tonnes of sugar to export to the EU.
Report indicated that 128.68 million dollars needed to cultivate 10,000 hectares of sugar cane plantation, to mill and to refine into finished sugar. The breakdown as follows 120millon dollars for the cultivation of 10,000 hectares, milling at 7.804 million dollars and 878, 000 dollars for refining into final sugar or ethanol.
Komenda Sugar Factory has become like a white elephant or an albatross around the neck of Ghanaians (hence almost a financial loss to the State like the Osagyefo Power Barge which was bought ove200million dollars and never produced power to Ghana and was cut into scrap by some intruders). The Komenda Sugar Factory saga was/is due to the failure of the technical advisers of our Political leaders to appreciate the History or the woes of the old plant. Google for Spatial Assessment of Sugarcane production to feed the Komenda Sugar Factory, Ghana by researchers at Cape Coast University namely David Yawson, Kingsley Osei and Michael Adu.
In April 2019, the then Minister of Trade and Industry Hon Mr Alan Kyerematen told Parliament the factory will be sold at 12 million dollars and the strategic investor will be named at the end of the month to acquire and operationalize
In November 2019 the Government of Ghana took a good idea to sell it to strategic investor namely Park Agrotech with financial commitment of 28 million dollars for the next four years but it was opposite by the ranking member on trade and industry committee of Parliament by name Hon Mr Yusuf Sulemana that the nation will be shortchanged with this arrangement.
Mr Speaker, Hon Mr Sulemana in November 2019, went to Citi FM and alleged possible corrupt acts and parochial gains against the then Minister of Trade and Industry or President Nana Addo’s regime, since about 38 Million Dollars was used for the project and the amounted stated by the Minister was very low. According Mr Sulemana, the cost was made of 36.4 million Dollars from Exim bank of India, an initial 1.3 million Dollars from Ghana Exim bank, and the State again borrowed, a further amount of 750,000.00 Dollars from Ghana Exim Bank. So he was not happy that the State was to lose a huge variance. So, he alleged that the government has internationally devalued the factory for its own interest.
Later in Parliament, in answering to a question in the name of Hon Mr Yusuf Sulemana of Bole/Bamboi which was asked on his behalf by Hon Mr of Alhassan Suhuyini for Tamale North why the abrogation the agreement with Park Agrotech Ghana Ltd. Then Sector Minister stated that there was no contract for it to be abrogated. According to him, the Condition precedent was not met by the Investor because the COVID19 pandemic prevented the Company to bring her partners to assess the equipment and do necessary maintenance to restart production by 31August 2021 and by this date the investor could not meet the deadline, so the agreement was terminated, as such the management revert to the Board, Komenda.
It was reported that Hon Mr Alan Kyerematen took an additional loan and established a sugarcane farm in which it cost each sugar cane plant at Sixty Ghana Cedis but it was reportedly burnt by fire by the Management. Hmm, the Ghanaian way of accountability or thievery. Remember what happened to the National Central Medical Store in Accra
In May 2022 a Board member by name Mr Appiah the DCE of the area said the board came out with the idea a pregnant of importing raw sugar, very good one yet to be delivered.
The Komenda Sugar Mill has 1,250 tons capacity per day as against the old Mill with a capacity of 1,000 tons per day and was even not getting enough feed thus suggested a smaller Capacity was ideal. It was expected to provide employment to 7,300 locals along the value chain and add value to the lives of the people, this was political gimmick, and currently the place is under 8 security guards whose pay is in arrears for than 12 months.
On Thursday 20 July 2023, the new Minister for Trade and Industry alleged that it is albatross on our neck that the Contractor is claiming an additional 7. 5 million dollars.