Some owners of small scale oil processing factories in the Eastern Region have appealed for support from government to help them expand.
According to the operators who mostly use traditional hand processing methods in their operation, their inability to procure basic machines in their business is hampering their ability to process the oils in appreciable quantity. They have therefore pleaded with the government to come to their aid.
The operators made the appeal when the Eastern Regional Minister and the Eastern/Volta branch of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) visited these companies to find out from them their challenges and how best they can help to address them.
The Minister started his visitation from the Lower West Akyem Municipality, through the Denkyembour District and ended at the Kwaebibirem Municipality where he also visited the Ghana Oil Palm Development Company (GOPDC) Limited, the nation’s largest oil processing company.
The Minister, Eric Kwakye Darfour advised the small scale factories to channel their concerns through the Business Advisory Committees (BAC) within the District Assemblies so that they can be supported by the NDSSI to get them the needed machines to increase their output.
Mr. Darfour also advised the companies to take advantage of the existence of the AGI to register with them so that the association can take up some of their challenges and champion it for them.
The Chairman of the Eastern and Volta Regional branch of AGI, Mr Dela Gadzanku, also assured the management of the factories of the association’s readiness to pick up their challenges and champion them. He encouraged the operators of the factories to not lose hope and continue working hard since all their concerns will be dealt with.
At GOPDC, Gangdhar shetty, Chief Commercial Officer of the company, pleaded with the government to reconsider their stand on the benchmark valuation set by the government. He stated that, the benchmark valuation reduce the price on imported goods and becomes a disservice to local producers. “We are appealing to the government to take a second look at that, otherwise it is going to have negative impact on the manufacturing sector. That means it is going to impact on employment and also increase import against locally manufactured products. Especially you know we are the biggest victim because we are from the grassroots manufacturing so it is affecting us very badly and because it affects price of the finished product we have to pass it on to the grassroots consumers.” He said.
The Regional Minister assured them of carrying their concerns up. He said the company is a very responsible and vibrant one which is self-sufficient in energy and that government will give them all the support to be able to thrive.
“The entity offering about 4,500 direct jobs with about 10,000 out growers is a lot and must be supported at all cost to thrive.” He said.
No intention to Kill Local Business
The Technical and Economic Advisor at the office of the Vice President, Dr Samuel Kojo Frimpong who was part of the minister’s entourage stated that the Nana Akufo Addo’s administration has no intention to kill local industries and will do everything possible to help them.
He explained that “we will do our best to support the local industry for them to be able to thrive and also create more jobs and to be able to perform and meet the competition out there in the market”.
He stated that, he was impressed with the progress of the factories he witnessed during the tour.
He spoke about available facilities meant to help the small scale industries. “What the government can do to support them is that we have a couple of facilities that we use to assists them. We have what we call the MASLOC as we try to connect them to the regional MASLOC so that when it is beyond them they can take it to the national level for the needed assistance. We also have the small business enterprises that are helping with training and other human resource development to be able to help them” he said.