The Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomkah Lindsay, has cut the sod for commencing the construction of Leefound Food Stuff Ghana Limited, a US$3million tomato paste production factory under government’s ‘One District, One Factory’ (1D1F) initiative.
The project, according to the Deputy Minister, is expected to be completed and put into use by the end of December 2018.
It is estimated that the company at full capacity will produce three hundred containers of tomato paste a month for the local and sub-regional market.
“The company will produce tomato paste, spices and other condiments for the Ghanaian and West African markets,” Mr. Lindsay said at the ground-breaking ceremony for commencement of construction at the factory site at Afienya in the Ningo-Prampram district of the Greater Accra Region.
The two major shareholders undertaking this project are Grand Rise Food Company Ghana Limited and Tianjin Limmin Condiments Company Ltd. of China, who are jointly investing an initial capital of US$3million with additional capital investment expected in the near future.
Leefound Food Stuffs Company Ghana Limited was incorporated in Ghana on 19th January, 2018 in response to government’s industrialisation drive. The company applied to join the 1D1F initiative as one of the self-financing projects in March, 2018.
To ensure smooth operations, Leefound Food Stuff Limited will initially engage a total of 140 employees directly from the Afienya community, and provide more than 500 indirect jobs when it commences full operations.
In line with government’s desire to improve local economies through the ID1F programme, the Ministry of Trade and Industry in collaboration with management of the company will ensure that indigenes of Ningo-Prampram district – particularly the Afienya community, will be direct beneficiaries of employment in the company, the minister noted.
Furthermore, the minister also added that traders in Ghana will be given opportunities to be part of the marketing chain and sell the company’s various products.
The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, in his 2018 mid-year budget review disclosed that government will soon lay before Parliament a bill to give tax holidays to factories setting up under the 1D1F programme, so as to make them competitive in both local and foreign markets.
This will enable the companies to create employment for locals while reducing imports of goods produced locally at relatively cheaper costs.
The Deputy General Manager of Tianjin Food Group, Zhang Jun, expressed his excitement and commitment to the project and maintained that the factory will provide fresh and delicious tomato paste for the citizens of Ghana.
He also indicated that they will conduct inspections of other food projects, and negotiate with related companies as well as look for more investment opportunities and broader investment channels.
Mr. Jun further stated that the project has entered a stage of comprehensive and rapid construction, which is expected to be completed by December 2018.
“The time is tight and the task is arduous; I hope the participating units and all the participants can work hard together and work actively to make the project safe, timely and high-quality, and serve the people of Ghana at an early date,” he said.
District Chief Executive of Ningo-Prampram, Jonathan Dooku, pledged his support for the project and urged the company to recruit most of the human resource from the community, insisting that the manpower is readily available.
Ms. Gifty Ohene Konadu, the National Coordinator of the IDI1F Secretariat, indicated that government will push through incentives for prospective investors who buy into the 1D1F, and added that they are presently waiting for Parliament to push through a bill in order for it to come into force.
Government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry aims at establishing at least one medium- to large-scale factory in all 254 districts in the country under the ‘One District One Factory’ programme.
The programme is private sector-led, with government facilitation and support in terms of incentives and provision of infrastructure.
It also seeks to achieve specific objectives which include the following:
a) Create massive employment, particularly for the youth in rural and peri-urban communities, thereby improving income levels and standard of living as well as reducing rural-urban migration.
b) Add value to the natural resources of each district, and exploit the economic potential of each district based on its comparative advantage.