Professor Victor Yao Gadzekpo, President of the Central University College, has called on government to offer special incentive packages for entrepreneurs who would be interested in developing the clay industry.
He said apart from tax inducement, efforts must be made to reduce the quantity of clay products imported into the country in order to crate market for local entrepreneurs.
Prof Gadzekpo, made the call at the annual lecture in the sciences organised by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences on the topic:” Clay-its benefits to mankind,” in Accra at the weekend.
He explained that entrepreneurs must also be helped to obtain concession on the lands on which the clay deposits are located.
He noted that the country imports large quantities of ceramic products in the form of floor pots, wall ties, dinning plates and wash hand basins among other items annually.
Prof Gadzekpo said clay is used in bleaching vegetable oil including palm oil, Shea butter oil and palm kernel oil, whilst Unilever Ghana limited uses imported activated clay to produce frytol oil.
He said clay has been found to be very useful industrial material throughout that world and Ghana has white clay deposits in Ashanti, Volta, Western and Eastern Regions.
“These clay deposits occupy (more than) 1.0 million cubic yards of the land,” he added.
He said the country has not been able to put these clay deposits into good use for commercial gains, apart from the clay stoves, flower pots and clay plate for grinding pepper.
He therefore called on policy makers to revive the Saltpond Clay Factory to begin to produce ceramic products for the country and the sub-region.
He said if the industry is well developed it would create jobs for the indigenous people and thereby reduce unemployment.