A crop physiologist at the University of Cape Coast has said the quality of water around Komenda, the location of the revamped Komenda Sugar Factory, is poor.
“Not only in our research, but we know, we all pass by the area, we’ve seen it even in the news lately that not only has the river actually been polluted but the level of water which was there originally for which during Nkrumah’s time, irrigation channels and drainage facilities were created from the river to the farmlands has gone down,” he said on Accra based Joy Fm.
“So not only has the quality reduced but the amount of water available which would have been used for irrigation is currently not adequate. As it stands now, I do believe seriously that a lot of things need to be done, they may need to go below ground irrigation or do a lot of irrigation infrastructure because as it stands now, the level of water and quality there isn’t very adequate,” he added.
The minority in parliament on Thursday questioned the viability of the factory due to the poor quality of the Pra River.
“The water in the Pra River has become so polluted at the instance of galamsey operators. Ghana water cannot even treat the water and purge it of mercury. You are going to use this source of water for production in the factory?,” the Minority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu noted.
Asked whether farmers may shift from other crops to plant sugarcane which may raise issues of food crisis, Adu said it depends on what sugarcane farmers are offered by the factory.
“Farmers are rational human beings. So if the farmers around the factory producing cassava, producing maize sees that his colleague whose land is equally able to produce the maize or the cassava is producing sugarcane and getting more, then that farmer would change from sugarcane to the other crop.
“But what if the sugarcane is also paying more? Then others farmers in the area will also shift to the sugarcane.”
According to Adu, there is no guarantee that the farmers who produces sugarcane will sell to the factory.
“Is the factory going to pay equal price or even more for the sugarcane that they will be collecting? If somebody produces alcohols of sugarcane elsewhere is paying more, they would be side selling. So it doesn’t mean the farmer producing by the factory side will sell to the factory. It depends on the price. “