Absence of sugar policy may hamper survival of Komenda Sugar Factory
Kyerematen, popularly referred to as Alan Cash, made this known in an article he wrote in the Daily Graphic Newspaper Wednesday.
“Because of the nature of the competition in the global sugar industry, most sugar-producing countries (over 100 countries in the world produce sugar) have a policy, regulatory and legal framework for the industry, to provide incentives for and protect local producers,” the former trade minister wrote in an article titled: "The Komenda Sugar Factory; A bitter or sweet investment decision?"
“Currently, Ghana has no sugar policy or legislation which may pose very serious challenges for the survival of the Komenda Sugar Factory," he noted.
The revamped factory has come under intense public debate following conflicting comments by government officials over the status of the project since news broke that it has been shut down for maintenance.
The minority in parliament questioned the viability of the project, suggesting it was inaugurated in a rush.
They also raised the issue of availability of sugarcane and the quality of the Pra River, which most sugarcane farmers use to irrigate their farms.
Alan Cash quoted data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) which put the production sugarcane in Ghana in the last five years (2010-2014) at 147,400 metric tonnes, which is 77600 short of what the factory needs.
“The Komenda Sugar Factory requires an annual input of 225,000 metric tonnes of sugarcane to operate at optimal capacity.” He continued: “Currently, since all the sugarcane produced annually consumed, one can conclude that the total output of sugarcane required to be produced in 2016/2017 crop year should be about 372,400 metric tonnes (147,400mt +22500mt) to satisfy both current consumption and raw material required for the factory.”
Alan Cash also pointed out that the price of GHC60 or $15 per metric tonnes being offered to farmers by the factory is not competitive, compared to what is paid on the open market, adding that it is not adequate to cover their crop budget.
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