Two companies, Petersfield & Rey Group Limited and CASA de Ropa, operating under the government’s flagship initiative of 1-District-1- Factory (1D1F) have commenced production.
The companies are operating from the Komenda-Edna-Eguafo-Abirem (KEEA) Municipality and Gomoa West District respectively in the Central Region.
Petersfield & Rey Group Limited is operating from Ataabadze in the Komenda-Edna-Eguafo-Abirem (KEEA) Municipality and producing Reydrops natural mineral water, soft drinks and pure natural fruits (pineapple, watermelon and mixed fruits with ginger).
CASA de Ropa, on the other hand, is operating from Gomoa Bewadze in the Gomoa West district of the Central Region. The company uses sweet-potato as its raw material to produce sugar-free nutritious bread and other mouth-watering tasty pastries.
This came to light when the National Coordinator for 1D1F, Mrs. Gifty Ohene-Konadu, last week Wednesday toured the two companies to ascertain for herself the level of progress at these companies and the challenges confronting them.
At Petersfield & Rey Group Limited, Mrs. Ohene-Konadu was taken round the production site by Production Manager, Julian Lomotey.
The company, Mr. Lomotey explained, has two production lines; one producing bottled water and the other producing soft drinks and pure natural fruit juice.
She was also introduced to another facility that produces sachet water.
Mr. Lomotey told Mrs. Ohene-Konadu that Petersfield & Rey Group, having entered the local market with Reydrops – natural mineral water, is currently doing test-runs on its soft drinks and pure natural fruit-juice production line.
He is confident that by end of March 2019, Ghanaians will start enjoying pure natural fruit-juice from the company.
The 1D1F National Coordinator was also taken round a modern laboratory facility by Cynthia Amoah, a Food Scientist, and Govina David, Quality Assurance Officer, where all products from Petersfield & Rey Group are tested to see if they meet requirements of the Food and Drugs Authority before being released onto the local market.
The Chief Operating Officer-Petersfield & Rey Group, Ama Abraham, indicated that the company currently employs 65 people and is hopeful of doubling this number if it goes into full production.
It also has 165 out-grower farmers assisting in producing raw materials to feed the company.
The company, she added, has its own farmlands of about 206 acres.
She recounted some support that government, under the 1D1F initiative, has given to the company. Key among them are a GH₵6.75million loan facility secured from the EXIM Bank and the release of Extension Officers by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to train farmers on best agronomic practices and the types of seedlings to plant.
In addition to those, the Ministry of Energy is assisting them with a 500kVA transformer to run the company. The KEEA Municipal Assembly has also assisted the farmers by constructing the road to their farms.
At Gomoa Bewadze, Mrs. Ohene-Konadu was taken around the production site of CASA de Ropa by its Chief Executive Officer, Ebenezer Obeng Baffoe; the Technical Manager, Tony Dawson-Amoah; and Programmes & Innovation Manager, Joseph Okyere.
The company has two facilities – a test-run centre where it is currently producing in smaller quantities, and the main production site – which is about 85% complete and only waiting to be roofed and get connected to the national grid.
Installation of its plant machinery is also yet to be done, but officials of the company say all the machinery needed to run the company have been procured and warehoused.
Mrs. Ohene-Konadu was also taken round the company’s 760 acres farmland, which it is developing with modern irrigation facilities and three dams to harvest rainwater.
Mr. Obeng Baffoe stated that the company currently employs 154 people, and hopes to engage about 1004 when it goes into full production.
The company has also engaged 450 farmers, who are cultivating the land to produce raw materials to feed the company.
Mr. Baffoe expressed the company’s gratitude to government for assisting it to secure a loan facility worth GH₵14million from the EXIM Bank, thus enabling itto put up the GH₵20million facility
In brief remarks, Mrs. Ohene-Konadu said she is much impressed with the progress of work done by the two companies.