From left, Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, Mr. Eric Kwakye Darfour, Eastern Regional Minister, and Mr. Dela Gadjanku, President of Volta/Eastern Regional AGI inspecting a stand at the event

In an effort to give life to government’s flagship One District, One Factory initiative, forty-six projects in the Eastern and Volta Region, have been approved as having met the criteria to commence and expand their facilities to operate under the initiative. These include AG Fresh & Dry, a Swiss juice processing factory at Adeiso, AK Wood furniture manufacturing company at Akim Oda and Blue Skies in the Eastern Region.

Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Eric Kwakye Darfour, explaining to the Goldstreet Business at the 2018 Eastern and Volta Regional AGI’s forum and AGM at Koforidua, said, over 40 projects have been profiled under the Eastern Regional Investment Coordination for Sustainable Industrial Programme (ERICSIP) concept.

“Out of the 40 profiled companies, 19 have been approved by the 1D1F Secretariat in Accra” he said.

ERICSIP, he noted, was established last year, with an objective to bridging the gap between the Coordinating Council and the Assemblies with respect to the flow of information on investment potentials and opportunities in the various districts.

So far, the concept has profiled investment prospects across the region, ranging from agriculture, tourism, agro processing manufacturing, construction and several others.

The Minister however said, the region is not in a haste to lure many companies who wants to do business in that jurisdiction.

“There is the need to tread cautiously in giving approval for businesses to operate here. We are so much looking into industries based on proven feasibility so that investments by companies and individuals do not go into the drain”, Mr. Kwakye Darfour said, adding, “investments here must present a win-win situation for the investor and the country.”

For the Volta Region, the Minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa, disclosed that four companies out of the 27 approved projects, have already secured funding from their partners, to begin operations under the initiative from next year.

“The four will venture into specific projects. We’ll have an ethanol factory in the Adaklu district, starch factory at Central Tongu, precisely Adidome, rice mill at Hohoe and Jasikan and a fruit juice producing factory at Afadjato South,” he mentioned.

Dr. Letsa said, officials from the region had earlier this year, visited Arkansas in the USA to attract rice farmers into the Volta Region.

“They have shown interest. We’ll soon sign an MoU to that effect to enable them to produce here. There are prospects for rice farming in all areas around the Volta Lake. Sample reports of the soil tests they have requested for is ready and that will soon be sent to them for us to broker the deal” he disclosed.

Arkansas’ rice production, which is the state’s top export is valued at nearly US$3 billion annually. Arkansas rice farmers broke records in 2012, producing 7,340 pounds per acre, up 8 percent from 2011.

Rice acreage also increased to 1.3 million acres in 2012 compared with 1.2 million acres in 2011.

Mr. Dela Gadjanku, Eastern and Volta Regional President of AGI said the event was to deepen investment prospects in the regions, while capitalization on the ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ agenda to initiate major industrialization drives in the region.

He however explained, that most AGI industries in the two regions lack the needed government support which is requisite for their growth.

“Going forward, we anticipate that government pays extra attention to the plight of some of these companies as the AGI continuous to lobby for their welfare” Mr Gadjanku indicated.

The event was themed, ‘Moving Ghana beyond Aid through Industrialization’.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe,