The Sekyere East District Assembly, in the Ashanti Region, has secured a partnership agreement with N-D Eco Limited, a private entity, to set up a US$50 million multipurpose factory for the production of dairy, beef, leather and other related products, under the government’s flagship ‘One district, one factory’ initiative.
Work is expected to soon commence on the project, after the Asokoremanhene, Prof. Nana Susubiribi Krobea Asante, handed over 150 acres of land to the Assembly, and is expected to create over 1,000 direct and indirect employment for the people in the area.
About 400 direct hands are likely to be employed in the factory, while over 600 indirect income is envisaged to be generated for farmers and other people in the district.
The project will have a biogas plant, leather producing component, as well as a dairy and milk component, in addition to an abattoir and a veterinary center.
According to the Chief Executive of N-D Eco Limited, Mr. Eugene Nyarko-Danquah, the project will start with about 20,000 cattle after the completion of infrastructural works, within an 8-months duration.
He explained that the animals for the factory will be ranched, unlike the unconfined manner livestock is often reared in the country, to prevent them from going out to destroy people’s properties and being a nuisance to the public.
He said cow dung from the project will be used as a source of biogas to generate electricity for the use of the factory as well as make some available to the host and surrounding communities.
The Public-Private Partnership agreement is not expected to receive any funding from the local assembly, according to Mr. Nyarko-Danquah.
At the handing-over of the 150-acre land to the Sekyere East District Assembly for the project, the Paramount Chief of Asokore, Prof. Nana Susubiribi Krobea Asante, said the traditional authority and the people were all interested in development, particularly in creating employment opportunities for the youth.
“For this reason, we are delighted to be contributing to the government’s agenda of One District, One Factory, by making this land available,” he said.
The District Chief Executive, Mary Boatemaa Marfo, said the project is in fulfillment of government’s promise of implementing the One-District-One-Factory policy, adding that the aassembly is also considering a partnership with the private sector to establish palm oil and banana processing factories in the area.
To allay the fears of crop farmers in the district, the DCE emphasised that the cattle will be “housed” to prevent them from straying, whilst a farm will be established to harvest food for them.
A representative of Mercies Consult and Investment Limited, consultant to the project, Mr. Noah Appiah Kubi, also said the project is in line with the World Food Programme agenda for 2020, on food security and nutrition.
He indicated that the work of the factory will, to a large extent, address the shortfalls in the operations of companies that use leather as their raw materials, like the Kumasi Shoe Factory.
It will also help reduce the country’s import bill, he said, by reducing the importation of dairy products and raw materials.