The Astek Company Limited, one of the premier fruit juice processing factories in Nsawam will commence operations in April 2020 after being out of business over decades, Mr Alan Kyerematen, Minister for Trade and Industry has disclosed.
He said the company was currently awaiting the arrival of a pineapple processing equipment which could process about 600 metric tonnes of pineapple per annum.
Mr Kyerematen said this on the floor of Parliament on Friday in response to a question from Frank Annoh-Dompreh, the Member of Parliament for Nsawam-Adoagyir, who wanted to know from the minister, plans being implemented to revive the factory to create employment.
Mr Kyerematen explained that the company was one of the first to express interest to be part of the Ministry’s stimulus package programme and subsequently the One District One Factory (1D1F) initiative using its subsidiary company Nano Foods Limited.
He said under the package, the company applied for an amount of GH¢5,444,760.00 from Exim Bank consisting of capital expenditure of GH¢2,639,760.00 and a working capital of GH¢2,805,000.00 which was approved.
Mr Kyerematen said the capital expenditure component of the amount GH¢2,639,760.00 had been disbursed to the company, with the working capital component still outstanding.
He said the company had also used part of the disbursed amount to refurbish the company’s premises at Nsawam but would require an additional amount of GH¢500,000.00 to complete the refurbishment due to cost overrun.
Mr Kyerematen said the company had secured orders to export canned sliced and chunked pineapples to Spain, U.S.A and Egypt under the new brand name Nano Foods adding, that, with regard to the local market, the company would produce and supply fresh pineapple juice.
He said when the company fully commenced operations; it would create a minimum of 60 direct jobs and 200 indirect jobs for residents particularly for the youth of Nsawam-Adoagyiri and the surrounding communities.
Mr Kyerematen said the company in addition, would also purchase the produce of pineapple farmers or out growers in the community to complement supplies from the companies including farms which would enhance their incomes and improve their livelihoods
BY LAWRENCE MARKWEI