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Ekumfi fruits factory to convert waste into fertilizer – Director

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The Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Company Limited is set to welcome an industrial investor who will process its tons of pineapple waste into organic fertilizer for agricultural purposes.

Mr. Fredrick Kobbyna Acquaah, the Director of Operations who disclosed this indicated that the move was set to mark an innovative approach in dealing with the tons of waste that would be generated by the company.

The  management of  the factory is therefore looking for an investor to install an Integrated Recycling and Compost Plant (IRECOP) with the ability to recover waste materials it would generate and process them into poultry feed and organic fertilizer to give strong boost to agricultural activities.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday, after a tour of the facility, the Director of Operations said the intervention would save the environment from pollution and space needed for expansion.

Engineers were seen vigorously installing the remaining processing and packaging plants for full complement of equipment to commence rigorous production.

The recycling and compost project is expected to further improve the socio-economic activities around the plants; while enhancing the greens and climate resilience of the catchment areas they operate.

This would aid a major boost to government revenue, create employment, reduce social vices and untie the poverty knot of the district for years to come.

“It is a real potential to increase indirect job creations within the radius of operation as the facility will provide direct and indirect employment for over 5000 people in the locally and internationally,” he said.

Highlighting the state and capacity of the biggest fruits processing factory in West Africa, Mr. Acquaah said it sits on a 50-acre land with 100-metres length and 50-metres width of factory floor and could process 10 tons of fruits per hour.

When operating at full capacity, the factory would process about 300 million packs of juice annually for the local and export markets and would generate close to GH¢530 million in revenue.

The eight million dollar facility was funded by the Exim Bank Ghana Limited under the agric-industrial intervention and is also projected to create over 5000 direct out grower jobs within the communities.

Mr Acquaah announced that the company had begun test production of it major brand “Eku juice” and would soon come out with different brands in green and yellow boxes after being certified by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).

Touching on the sustainability of the company, he assured that the factory had taken cognisance of similar companies that failed shortly after commissioning and had therefore put in place prudent measures to sustain operations.

“When we started in August 2017, many doubted our capabilities, but we kept telling them our eyes were on the raw materials…So immediately, we began the land acquisition processes, preparation, cultivation and here we are with tons to harvest to feed the factory on daily basis.”

Mr. Acquaah allayed fears that the company  could not be sustained due to non-availability of raw materials, adding that the seemingly delayed production after months of sod cutting was because they needed to divide their activities into three areas – factory building, processors ( machines) and raw materials for efficient running.

“Ekumfi is mainly a pineapple growing enclave. But, we needed to grow pineapple that will meet our particular specification in terms of quality, quantity and time grown …so we did not begin by just buying pineapple to process – we actually started from ground zero.

“We Got our lands, got our farms, did our land preparations got our suckers and took them through all the regimes, planted, tended for them to mature. It took some time to enable us begin our factory proper. A lot of work has gone on at the factory,” he said.

He gave the assurance that the company, incorporated and certified to have commenced business on May 26, 2017 as a start-up company authorised to engage in cultivation and processing of pineapples, was ready for full take-off by December 2019.

He asked Ghanaians and all well-meaning people not to  politicise the project but patronise the products, offer support and make constructive criticisms to help boost local businesses.

Source: GNA

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