Government approves stimulus package for Astek

By
Christopher Arko

Accra, Nov.11, GNA –
The Government of Ghana, through the Exim Bank, has approved an amount of
GH₵5,444,760.00 as a stimulus package to revive the Astek Company Limited at
Nsawam, to give jobs opportunities to the youth in the area.

The capital
expenditure component of the amount being GH₵2,639,760.00 has already been
disbursed to the company, whilst the working capital part of GH₵2,805,000.00
was still outstanding.

Mr Alan Kyeremanten,
Minister of Trade and Industry announced this when he appeared before
Parliament to answer a question filed by Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh, Member of
Parliament (MP) for Nsawam-Adoagyiri on government plans to revive the Astek
Company Limited.

The Astek Company
Limited, located in Nsawam in the Eastern Region was one of the first companies
to express 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 the EXIM Bank support which was later approved.

Mr Kyeremanten also
explained that the Business promoter has ordered a 600Mt per annum pineapple processing
equipment that was scheduled to arrive in January 2020 for installation.

He said the promoter
had also used part of the disbursed amount to refurbish the company’s premises
at Nsawam, but would require an additional amount of GH₵500,000.00 to complete
the refurbishment due to cost overrun.

Mr Kyeremanten also
indicated that the company had secured orders to export Canned, Sliced and
Chunked pineapples to Spain, USA, and Egypt under the new brand name Nano
Foods.

He said the company
would also produce and supply fresh pineapple juice to the local markets.

He said the company
would create a minimum of sixty (60) direct jobs and two hundred indirect jobs
for residents particularly the youth of Nsawam-Adoagyiri and the surrounding
communities.

In addition, the
company would purchase the produce of pineapple farmers or out-growers in the
community to complement supplies from the company’s nucleus farm which would
enhance their incomes and improve their livelihoods.

Mr Kyeremanten
further indicated that to ensure the successful operation of the company, his
Ministry would continue to provide all the incentives and support services
earmarked for 1D1F companies.

He said the Ministry
had also assigned a consultant to work with the business promoter to enhance operational
performance for the achievement of the company’s objectives. 

Mr Frank
Annoh-Dompreh, MP for the area speaking to the media in Parliament, expressed
delight about the ongoing plans to resuscitate the Astek Company to create jobs
for the youth in the area.

According to him, it
was very refreshing to hear such good news for the people of Nsawam and that
the whole plan fitted into government’s overarching policy of One District One
Factory (1D1F) initiative.

He said the revival
of the company was likely to break the monopoly enjoyed by other companies in
the area, by injecting competition which was expected to create better prices
for pineapple farmers.

Mr Annoh-Dompreh
also stated that the closure of Astek Company 15 years ago affected a lot of people,
since it was the main source of employment in the area.

He pledged to follow
up to ensure that all the equipment was installed and to make sure that the
company became operational.

He charged the new
management to take a cue from the previous administration in order not to
repeat the mistakes of the past that led to the closure of the company.

GNA 

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