WE recall the excitement that greeted the inauguration of the defunct Komenda Sugar Factory in Komenda in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (KEEA) Constituency in the Central Region in 2015.
IN fact the pomp and pageantry that characterised the revival of the sugar factory was so loud that it resonated in almost every corner of this country.
MANY residents, especially sugar cane farmers, welcomed the resolve by the Mahama-led government at the time to resuscitate the collapsed sugar factory.
THEY had high hopes because of the fact that there was going to be a ready market for their sugar canes.
BUT three years after the inauguration of this multi-million state project, the benefits are yet to trickle down to the farmers and residents of KEEA.
A very worrying news item carried on the front page of the state-owned Daily Graphic on Friday, March 9, 2018 indicated that the sugar factory remains shut.
ACCORDING to the story, sugar cane farmers in the area were hoping that the ministry of trade and industry will reactivate the factory.
COMPOUNDING matters was a gloomy picture painted by the University of Cape Coast (UCC) that the factory was not likely to be operational anytime soon.
REASONS given by the UCC in a study on the factory revealed that the factory needed about 300,000 metric tonnes of sugar cane to become fully operational.
THAT, according to the Daily Graphic report, was made known by the Principal Investigator, Dr David Oscar Yawson, on the findings of the research titled: Assessment of Sustainable Feedstock Supply To The Komenda Sugar Factory at a stakeholder’s forum in Cape Coast in February 2018.
SO, the critical factor here, which is against the sugar factory’s operation, is the lack of raw materials. But the question is: why would we expend so much money on a factory for it to stay out of operation?
IS it a question of misplaced priority or an issue of not doing due diligence before even thinking of reviving a state-owned factory? Or as usual, we were just doing politics to score political points.
IN the view of Today, the Akufo-Addo administration must do all it can to ensure that the Komenda Sugar Factory begins full operations or else it will become one of the many state projects that have become “white elephant.”
MEANWHILE, it is reassuring that the Akufo-Addo is making frantic efforts to see the sugar factory operating.
AND indeed, the sugar factory is a project which operation will not only provide ready market for sugar cane farmers, but more importantly, create jobs for the people in the KEEA constituency.
THE Komenda Sugar Factory must certainly not become a ‘white elephant!’