The management of the Ekumfi Fruit and Juices Factory at Ekumfi Nanaben in the Central Region has dispelled rumours that the company has collapsed.
Although it said its operations were affected by climate change, management says the factory is still producing on a large scale, adding that there are plans to introduce some new products.
Speaking to Citi News after a tour of the facility by some distributors, the manager of the facility, Frederick Kobbyna Acquaah, noted that the factory had also been able to increase its pineapple farmlands from 1,200 acres to 6,000 acres.
“We are into full production, and we have been accepted nationwide and even the boundaries of the country. We are switching to the next gear, that’s why ADB is coming in [to support]. This as you know is the one district one factory, so there is enormous support from the 1DIF Secretariat. This trip is also important because of some negative reportage that the factory is off because there are no fruits. It can never be a shut-down, as it was reported.”
The Ekumfi Fruits and Juice Factory is under the government’s flagship programme, One District One Factory.
It is a wholly Ghanaian-owned company and has one of the most modern, automated agro-processing plants in the country.
Its first batch of products that hit the markets in 2020 was made of raw pineapple and citrus fruits, which came in a 250ml tetra pack.
With 1,000 acres of pineapple under cultivation, employing about 475 outgrowers, the factory created direct employment opportunities for over 550 people including engineers, food scientists, marketing professionals, accountants, and technicians.
In addition, more than 1,000 indirect job opportunities in Ekumfi and other adjoining districts have been created, according to the company.
The facility is the biggest fruit processing factory in West Africa, with the capacity to process 10 tons of fruits per hour.
Funded by the Exim Bank Ghana Limited, the agricultural industrial intervention has significantly gingered the spirit of entrepreneurship in many Ghanaians as its office keeps receiving quantities of business proposals from various entities and persons across the world.
Per the company’s five-year strategy vision, it is cultivating more than 4,000 acres of pineapples in many communities in the district as well as in the neighbouring districts that would, in all, produce 80 million fruits per annum for the processing line.
It has also projected 600 acres per year, in preparing to switch to the next phase of cultivation that would see the expansion of its raw material base up to the projected 4,000 acres needed to feed the factory at full capacity.
The company also seeks to expand and sustain its 19 shared-grower sites established in Ekumfi Nanaben, Narkwa, Abor, Eyisam, Otuam, Egyaakwa, Asaman, and Gyankoma.
In all, share-growers engaged at the Gyankoma sites have cultivated nearly 600 acres of pineapples and keep planting every day to meet the eight-acre demand of pineapple per week for the factory.