The youth of Komenda in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo- Abrem Municipality of the Central Region have called on the Government to redesign the Komenda Sugar Factory into a fruit processing plant, through a liaison with the private sector.
That would add value to fruits, which were in abundance in the area, with some going waste due to the lack of preservation facilities, they said.
The youth called for an urgent step towards the revival of the factory to help fight
poverty, create decent employment, open up the local economy, and make life meaningful for the people.
Mr Yaw Bayin, a youth leader in the community, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that eight years after commissioning the factory, the youth continued to loiter about without jobs, resulting in high social delinquencies.
The $35-million dollar Komenda Sugar Factorybuilt with an Indian Exim Bank grant, was inaugurated in May 2016, by the then President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, amid pomp and pageantry.
The factory was built to crush 1,250 tonnes of sugarcane per day to reduce Ghana's annual sugar requirement, estimated at 375,000 tonnes.
Mr Bayin recalled how the harsh weather conditions, combined with the salty breeze from the Atlantic Ocean that lies about three kilometres from the factory, caused rapid corrosion of the metallic parts of the machinery.
In addition, weeds, until recently, had virtually taken over the factory, making it a haven for rodents and reptiles.
With abundant arable lands for growing sugarcane, Mr Bayin could not comprehend the wasting away of the magnificent factory set up to provide 7,300 direct and indirect jobs.
He recalled how thousands of sugarcane out- growers beamed with smiles of hope following the rebirth of the factory some couple of months ago, but their hopes had died out due to unfulfilled promises by the Government.
He bemoaned the inability of the factory's management to secure a reliable raw material base to operationalise the factory.
"The factory is our pride, our hope, and the venture that would earn many their livelihoods," he said.
Mr Okatakyi Ackon, the Director of Communications of the sugarcane out- growers, told the GNA in an interview that many of the nearly 3,000 out-growers currently produced to feed palm wine distillers in the area.
He gave the assurance that they were ready to support the re-operationalisation of the factory if the management put its house in order.
Upholding the concerns of the youth, a former worker, who pleaded anonymity, said the sad state of the factory was a major concern to all well-meaning residents of Komenda.
With obvious apprehensions, many felt dejected and disappointed as reassurances had yielded no
positive results, he said
The 26-year-old, unemployed, indicated that any further delay in putting the factory back on its wheels could deepen the woes of the youth
The management of the factory, however, declined to speak on the issues.