The Vice President, HE Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia has today the 20th May 2021, cut sword and commissioned a Pineapple processing factory called Nano Foods in Nsawam, under the 1 District 1 Factory (1D1F) program.
The factory previously known as Astek has been defunct for over a decade, but the Akuffo Addo government, through its flagship 1D1F program has revived it and brought it back to full operation.
At a grand ceremony to officially commission the factory, the MD for Nano foods limited, Mr. Albert Antwi Owusu said the company began in the 1980s as Astek limited and produced the popular fruit drink called Refresh, however the company collapsed and for the past few years only produced sachet water which barely kept it alive. He was full of praise for the MP of the area Hon. Frank Annoh Dompreh for his vision and immense support to ensure the company is revived. He said they hope to produce over 6500 tonnes annually to serve the Ghanaian market and also to export to the US and other European and African countries.
In his address, the MP for Nsawam adoagyiri constituency, Hon. Frank Annoh Dompreh who was very emotional said it has always been his dream and desire to bring back the popular Astek despite the disbelief of naysayers. He said, with the help of the Trade Minister, they secured one million free pineapple suckers From Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and provided it to outgrowing farmers to supply much needed raw materials for the company’s production. He also went on to say that Nano foods has been certified by free zones and will be exporting about 70 percent of its produce, further intimating that the mistakes of yesteryears that brought about the collapse of Astek will not be repeated. According to him the constituency will very soon have 2 new companies; the first, a power production plant which will transform waste at the Nsumia land fill site into a clean form of energy to power industries within the Nsawam area, and the second, a brewery that will produce beverages.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Hon. Seth Acheampong said this facility is a manifestation of government’s infrastructure development agenda. According to him, the company has received over 1.5 million dollars loan from the Exim Bank to reintroduce the popular Astek Refresh back into the Ghanaian market. He said such businesses founded by the private sector with support from government helps the nation in meeting the Millennium Development Goals. He said very soon Nsawam Adoagyiri will be restored to its former glory of being the hub of industries in the Eastern Region.
The Minister of trade and Industry, Hon Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanteng said the implementation of 1D1F is a clear demonstration of the seriousness government attaches to businesses and entrepreneurship. He outlined that the policy is meant to decentralize industrial development, thus bringing industries to the doorstep of every district, and also to add value to the natural resources of the country. He also said that this initiative will provide decent jobs for the youth, as well as reduce importation and boost export that will go a long way in improving our exchange rate. He announced that the factory has been given a 10years tax exemption and is also registered under the free zones, making it possible for them to import machinery and inputs free of charge in order to improve their operations.
The Vice President, HE Dr Mahamadu Bawumia gave the final address that ended the ceremony. In his address, he said the 1D1F is a major component of the turn point development agenda of the Akuffo Addo government. He said no government under the 4th Republic had a clear vision and strategy for industrial development than the Akuffo Addo government. He announced that so far 232 factories are at various stages of implementation under the policy, with 77 commissioned so far to improve agri-businesses in various districts. He said the visionary leadership under HE Akuffo Addo saw the need to anchor the planting for food and jobs initiative and link agric to industry. This was to enhance agricultural productivity, scale up production, add value to what we produce, create jobs, increase incomes and improve livelihood. He said, if 1D1F is harnessed well, it will open the pathway for accelerating national development and be the game changer for economic recovery especially post Covid 19. HE Dr. Bawumia also announced that for the first time in over 20 years, Ghana’s trade balance has recorded a surplus for four consecutive years, from 2017 to date.
The Vice President cut the sword and he together with the Minister of trade and industries, the MP, the chiefs and other dignitaries were given a tour of the facility to demonstrate how the factory operates.
Also in attendance were the MCE, Hon Isaac Kwadwo Buabeng, the MCD, Mr Jeremiah Amoafo Agyekum, Aburi MP, Hon O.B. Amoah as well as the Akuapem South MCE.