Gov’t Names Park Agrotech As Strategic Investor For Komenda Sugar Factory

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The Ministry of Trade and Industry, in an effort to put the Komenda Sugar Factory in production, has named Park Agrotech Ghana Limited as the strategic investor for the factory.

The Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyerematen, few months ago told Parliament that a strategic investor will take over the running of the Komenda Sugar Factory which will be announced by the end of April 2019.

The Chief Director of the Ministry, Mr. Patrick Yaw Nimo revealed that cabinet has approved a National Sugar Policy to guide and support the private sector investment in large scale integrated Sugar Development Projects, which include sugarcane farming and milling refining.

The Komenda Sugar Development Company, he said is a prime beneficiary of the policy and also in line with Government’s policy of ensuring that every district has at least one major factory to drive industrial development and provide job opportunities.

According to him, Park Agrotech Limited has been operating in Ghana since 2012 and has planned to invest US$28 million in the Komenda Sugar Factory from 2020 to 2023, out of which US$11 million will be use for Sugarcane Cultivation Development whilst US$6 million will also be use for upgrade of plant and machinery and US$11 million for working capacity.

Park Agrotech Ghana Limited he said is a subsidiary of the Skylark Group of Companies from India, which is one of the largest integrated farming businesses in India.

Its technical partner in Sugar production is STM Project Limited which has provided technical services for sugarcane development and sugar plant modernization, expansion and rehabilitation for more than 200 sugar factories in India and other parts of the world, including the Fiji Islands, Guyana, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Nepal, Nigeria and Haiti.

Mr. Nimo stated that the operations of KSDCL will lead to the development of nucleus and out-grower sugarcane plantation which is expected to cover an area of over 5,000 hectares.

This scheme he said will involve over 2,000 farmers in the catchment area of KSDCL and there will be introduction of varieties of sugarcane with high yields and high sucrose content.

He added that, the company will directly employ and train a total of 300 Ghanaian staff in terms of indirect employment of 3,000 people including farmers, artisans, and traders among others are expected to benefit from the operations of KSDCL.

Mr. Nimo further revealed that total of sugar imports into Ghana in 2017 amounted to approximately UD$180 million and relatively high imports is attributable to increasing domestic demand for sugar.

The revival of operations of KSDCL he said will result in reduced imports of sugar and lessen the pressure for Cedi as a result of the reduced demand for foreign currency.

He added that the company has a detailed sugarcane development programme and sugar production plan for up to 2028 and is supported by comprehensive plant and machinery upgrade plan.

He further revealed that Park Agrotech has committed to use 1% of its profits for corporate Social Responsibility activities which include, child health and nutrition, education, youth empowerment, general healthcare, sports development and entrepreneurship training.

He stated that the successful operation of KSDCL is expected to lead to the development and revival of other related industries and activities such as; distilleries for ethanol production, electricity generation, herbal medicine production, poultry and cattle rearing ad fruits and vegetable processing.

The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for the Municipality, Nana Appiah Korang expressed his gratitude for the Government’s efforts in bringing in a strategic investor to put the Komenda Sugar Factory into fusion.

The MCE was optimistic that Park Agrotech Ghana Limites will put in efforts to ensure that the factory serves its purpose for Ghana to benefit from the revival of the factory.

On his part, the Managing Director of Park Agrotech Ghana Limited, Mr. Lalit Mishra commended the evaluation committee and all stakeholders involved for been objective, transparent and very truthful to the details of getting into every details Agrotech was assured of as well as backgrounds check before signing the agreement.

He said their technical partner will soon come from India and expressed gratitude for been selected to operate the Komenda Sugar Factory adding that even though Ghana now imports sugar, a time will come that Ghana will produce its own sugar for consumption.

Source: Muhammed Faisal Mustapha

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