Hundreds of people in the Ekumfi District in the Central Region have gathered at Ekumfi Eyisam Rest Stop waiting for the arrival of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to officially cut the sod to begin work on the first factory in the One-District-One-Factory initiative.
They say they are already excited about the project and the benefits it stands to bring them.
Today work on the first of factories to begin the famous One-District-One-Factory campaign promise of the Akufo-Addo led government is to be launched at Ekumfi Eyisam.
Later in the day, the President will formally cut the sod for the Ekumfi Pineapple and Juices Factory.
Mr Kwesi Dadzie, a resident of Ekumfi Nanabin who has four acres of pineapple farm, is happy that the factory would particularly free the pineapple farmers from exploitation by middle women who come to buy the pineapples at giveaway prices from the farmers.
He says farmers who would serve as out-growers have already been trained on how to maximise yields from their farms.
Again, he is happy that the factory would help control rural, urban migration.
“Many of our youth have left this area in search of jobs. I urge all citizens of Ekumfi to come home and help us make this factory work.”
Mr Ibrahim Sagoe, also a pineapple farmer, says he is ready to commit more efforts into his farm.
Mr Dadzie appealed to the government to work to ensure the farmers are able to expand their farms by giving them funding.
He called for the supply of farming inputs such as fertilizer and suckers for planting.
Some of the youth, including student Luke Mohammed looked to the project with high hopes of landing jobs after school. And they were grateful for the honour brought to the people of Ekumfi.
The One-District-One-Factory initiative is to help address the challenges of slow economic growth at the district level.
According to the government, the One-District-One-Factory programme aims to do this through massive private sector-led nationwide industrialisation drive which would equip and empower communities to utilise their local resources. It is expected to create thousands of jobs per district by the end of 2020.
The Ekumfi project is being undertaken in partnership with Greenfield Pineapple and Foods Ghana Limited, a private company which is expected to be fed by a 200 acre pineapple farm for the company to employ about 5,000 farmers. The supplies would be supplemented by about 5,000 outgrower farmers in the district.
Already the company has cultivated 90 acres of pineapple farm at Gomoa Oguaa and Gomoa Assin.
A member of the One-District-One-Factory inauguration committee, Gifty Ohene told newsmen the Ekumfi Pineapple and Juices Factory Limited is expected to process 180,000 pieces of pineapple fruits a day.