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1D1F: Ekumfi Scores Higher -Says DI

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The Danquah Institute has scored Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Limited (Ekumfi), a One District One Factory (1D1F) company, very high for its impact on employment and improving conditions for the people of Ekumfi; following an evaluation visit to the company’s factory in Ekumfi, on Friday, February 14th.

The Executive Director of the Institute, Mr. Richard Ahiagbah, said the audit is a way to provide feedback on how well the 1D1F is achieving or failing to achieve its stated objectives. He noted that Ekumfi has proven that given time and goodwill from all stakeholders, every district could leverage its natural resources for development.

The DI Boss said the government must be encouraged by the Ekumfi success story to support more 1D1F initiatives in the pipeline and struggling industries because, at only 40% capacity, Ekumfi is employing eighty (80) workers per shift and four hundred (400) farmers on its two thousand acres (2,000) pineapple plantation. This is the silver bullet; Ghana needs to address the raging problems of unemployment, poverty, and import dependency.

The Director of Operations, Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Limited, Frederick Kobbyna Acquaah, said the company is on course to achieving its founding objectives, which include creating local employments, open-up and lift Ekumfi from the list of poor districts by building a generational company that thrives on the strength of Ekumfi.

In explaining the impact his company has had on Ekumfi thus far, Mr. Acquaah said, we are privileged to have the Paramount Chief of the Ekumfi Traditional Area, Adeefo Nana Akyin VII, as one the lead growers of pineapple for the factory. He goes on to say we have three schemes for our growers, the one-third scheme, the independent scheme, and the factory’s farm. The one-third system is where a gang of twenty (20) farmers who are paid a monthly stipend, cultivates for a third of the harvest. He said the one-third scheme had converted fishers in the area into farmers.

Mr. Kankam Biney, the chief agronomist, said that the company provides extended technical support for the farmers from land preparation to harvesting. He said it is part of the company’s quality control policy to be involved from the beginning to assure the quality of every pineapple that enters the company’s crusher. 

Most of the factory workers we interacted with are locals, except for a few technical personnel, and this, according to Mr. Ahiagbah, is consistent with the history of industrialization the world over. Manufacturing opens villages, towns, or countries up for the movement of essential labor and skills, he added.

Ms. Hilda Mensah is a native of Ekumfi, a pre-production cleaner at the Factory premises said with excitement, “I came here as a cleaner a year ago, but today, I am a Tetra pack packaging machine operator.” Mr. Steven Amoah, also a native of Ekumfi, was employed as a security officer but has trained to become a Forklift operator. An unemployed JHS graduate, Mr. Patrick Boafo, a native, also told the team that he is a packaging assistant.

The DI Boss, Mr. Ahiagbah, asked, can you imagine versions of Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Limited in every district? Far from praising the government for the success of the 1D1F policy, he charged the media to ensure that the Ekumfi story is told to encourage everyone, including Ekumfi that, it is possible to industrialize Ghana on the wings of the One District One Factory initiative.

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