The Komenda Sugar factory will need close to 300,000 tonnes of sugar cane in order to have an effective running, research has proven. Available facts however indicates that the current production is nowhere near the expected figure.
This means there is the urgent need for government and other stakeholders to put up measures in order to ensure an effective performance of the factory.
These were revealed in a stakeholder’s forum organised by the Directorate of Research, Innovation and Consultancy [DRIC] of the University of Cape Coast [UCC] after a team of researchers presented their research findings on "Assessment Of Sustainable Feed-stock Supply To The Komenda Sugar Factory".
Speaking at the forum, the Principal Investigator Dr. David Oscar Yawson said, about two million dollars are used in exporting about 700,000 metric tonnes of sugar each year. He notes sugar continue to be the 4th largest food commodity import to Ghana in 2013.
Dr. Yawson was however quick to add that, the research findings revealed that domestically, Ghana has the capacity to meet the large demand of sugar but will require government and stakeholders intervention to ensure there is enough materials to feed the factory to achieve it full potentials.
Dr. Oscar Yawson lead investigator, presenting research findings at the Forum
“If you look at our study you cannot even get 10 percent of what the factory needs a day within the industrially recommended radius. However, if we are able to convince farmers to commit land to sugarcane production and secure land for plantation for the sugar factory, the factory should be able to sustain itself".
Prof. Samuel Anim - Director DRIC
On his part, the Director of the Directorate of Research, Innovation and consultancy, Prof. Samuel Anim said DRIC will continue to support projects that will enhance the development agenda of the country adding that there is the need for all stakeholders to come on board and support DRIC to achieve this goal.
Prof Anim noted saying, “There is the need for us to continue to have this discussion and I will be happy if we set up a platform. The best we can do at such a forum is that, we are going to invite the various ministries and the various stakeholders and we will expect some of you to really help us. Working groups are the only way by which multi sectorial discussions of this nature can be advanced from. If we leave this to the university alone, we will continue doing our own business, do research and put it on the shelf and nothing is going to happen.”
Prof. George K.T. Oduro speaking at the Forum
The Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Professor George K.T Oduro took his turn to commend the team of researchers for their findings and challenged government and stakeholders to give the research findings the needed consideration.
According to him, the University of Cape Coast as part of it mandate to improve it research visibility to enhance researcher productivity and effective collaboration with industry players and policy makers, will continue to offer the needed help to promote development research. Prof Oduro however added that, ownership of the Sugar factory should be clearly defined to assist policy makers to make informed decision on it sustenance.
“The other one is the issue of ownership. I strongly believe that when there is any government initiative and that initiative is viewed from the perspective of national ownership, then commitment towards developing that initiative becomes costly. We therefore need to clearly define who owns Komenda Sugar Factory and once it is clearly defined, and then we adopt the national orientation towards its management” Prof Oduro stressed.
Source : Kojo Dei / ATL FM News