GOV'T REVIVES ASTEK LIMITED WITH ₵2.6 MILLION UNDER 1D1F INITIATIVE – ALAN KYEREMATEN.
The Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon. Alan Kyerematen on Friday, 8th November 2019 informed Parliament of plans the Ministry of Trade and Industry are implementing to revive the Astek Company Limited, a Pineapple fruit processing factory located in Nsawam in the Eastern Region.
According to Mr. Kyerematen, the company was one of the first companies that expressed 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.
The company applied for an amount of GHS5,444,760.00 from EXIM Bank consisting of capital expenditure of GHS2,639,760.00 and working capital of GHS2,805,000.00 which was approved, Mr. Kyerematen revealed.
The Minister in charge of the industrialization drive of the Akufo-Addo Government further indicated that currently the capital expenditure component of GHS2,639,760.00 has been disbursed to the company, with the working capital component still outstanding.
The Promoter has therefore ordered a 600MT per annum Pineapple Processing Equipment that is scheduled to arrive in January 2020 for installation, to enable the company to commence operations in April 2020, the Minister disclosed.
Furtherance to that, the Minister noted that the Promoter has also used part of the disbursed amount to refurbish the company’s premises at Nsawam but would require an additional amount of GHS500,000.00 to complete the refurbishment due to cost overrun.
He added that, as of now, the company has been able to secure orders to export Canned Sliced and Chunked Pineapples to Spain, USA, and Egypt under the new brand name Nano Foods and plans on producing and supplying Fresh Pineapple Juice for the local market.
Mr. Kyerematen was of the opinion that in order to enhance the smooth flow of raw materials to feed the factory, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry has supplied Pineapple Suckers to Out-growers and Farmers within the Nsawam-Adoagyiri area.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has also intensified extension support services to the farmers and Out-growers within the communities in the area, Mr. Kyerematen intimated.
STORY BY MICHAEL OFOSU-AFRIYIE, KUMASI.