The Green-Ef Eco-Business Village Limited (Green-Ef), an indigenous company that produces jute sacks, has commended President John Mahama for his pledge to provide both material and financial support to indigenous Ghanaian companies to produce local goods.
The Green-Ef has also expressed appreciation for government’s directive to COCOBOD to gradually procure its sacks in Ghana, which would create more jobs for the youth.
A statement issued in Tamale on Tuesday and signed by Mr Sachibu Mohammed, CEO of the company, said: “This comes at a time when Green-Ef Eco-Business Village Ltd has completed all necessary feasibility studies, established experimental and characterization farms on kenaf in two districts in the Northern Region in 2013, as well as signed important Private-Public-Partnership Memoranda of Understanding, and held critical official and unofficial meetings and discussions with key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) across the country”.
According to the statement, Green-Ef had also signed strategic local and international partnerships with technical, research oriented institutions such as the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), the University for Development Studies (UDS), the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) in Sunyani and GRATIS Foundation, among others, some of which already had expertise and enormous institutional memory on kenaf cultivation.
The statement said the main objective of the project dubbed the ‘Kenaf Zero Waste Characterization Project’ was to establish the 100 per cent utilization of the entire kenaf plant for the production of sacks and other important and badly needed products from Kenaf instead of jute, while the other was to determine the various cultivation and processing characteristics of the kenaf fibre for the production of sacks in Ghana.
“Green-Ef has therefore built enormous practical skills and theoretical understanding on all that it takes to produce sacks and allied products from kenaf to create a vibrant kenaf industry and economy beyond sacks in Ghana”, it said.
The statement further indicated that the investment was expected to bring significant increase in youth employment and income generation, local socio-economic and community development and import substitution industrialization along the entire value chain of kenaf as per Green-Ef’s technical and impact investment strategy.
Green-Ef, therefore, appealed to President Mahama not to rescind his decision, which could end up allowing foreign companies to benefit from the initiative other than the local indigenous companies.
The statement said in late 2012 and early 2013, Green-Ef commenced an extensive literature review, experimental farms, strategic partnership building with both local and international actors on its investments in Kenaf cultivation for the production of over 11 environmentally friendly and economically imperative products including jute sacks.
It indicated that stakeholders with whom Green-Ef had held different levels of discussions and agreements and were yet to sign MoUs included the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund, The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Ministries of Food and Agriculture, Tourism and the Trade and Industry, as well as Ghana Tourism Authority.
Others are the Wild Life Division of the Forestry Commission, Industrial Research Institute of CSIR, Food Research Institute of CSIR, the Northern Regional Coordinating Council and other users of Jute sacks other than COCOBOD.