OVER 100 BUSINESSES PROFILED TO KICK-START DISTRICT FACTORY POLICY

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OVER 100 BUSINESSES PROFILED TO KICK-START DISTRICT FACTORY POLICY.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) has identified more than 100 commercially viable businesses profiled to kick-start the One District, One Factory (ODOF) policy of the government.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, who disclosed this in Accra yesterday, said after identifying the projects that qualified under the selection criteria, the government would sponsor a business plan of each of the projects to determine the exact amount of investment required for their take-off.

At a symposium on the 2017 Budget and Economic Policy of the government, Mr Kyerematen also outlined the major criteria for pre-qualifying the projects, saying the policy would be driven by the private sector, with the government facilitating their take-off and sustainability.

Symposium

The programme was organised by the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF).

It brought together industry players and the private sector to deliberate on government policies (as outlined in the 2017 Budget) and how the private sector could take advantage of them.

Criteria

Mr Kyerematen said the process would start with an expression of interest to participate in the policy framework and later submitted either at the particular district where the project would be located or at the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Qualifying businesses or industries under the ODOF policy, he said, must have the potential to create jobs and influence the local economy significantly; add value to a local natural resource endowment of the district and must have the potential to substitute products that Ghana imports.

Mr Kyerematen stated that it was an advantage when the output from the proposed project had the potential of being exported.

“The project or investment size must be between $1 million and $5 million; the bigger the investment, the better,” the minister added.

Mr Kyerematen also indicated that existing state-owned enterprises (SOEs) or an existing distressed private business which met the criteria could also be considered. That, he explained, meant an investor could propose to take over and operate a distressed or collapsed SOE such as the Abosso Glass Factory.

He stressed that the policy was never intended to replace the government’s policies and efforts at supporting the larger private sector to remain competitive, saying “it should be clear that the ODOF policy is only one component of the government’s efforts to support the private sector.”

‘Planting for food and jobs’

For his part, the Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ policy would be rolled out next month.

He mentioned maize, rice, soya, sorghum and vegetables as the crops to be supported under the policy.

Two hundred thousand farmers nationwide would be covered under the first phase of the programme.

The farmers would be supplied with subsidised fertilisers and free extension services. They would also be provided with market structures and financing arrangements in partnership with the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB).

“This is a four-year programme and we hope to include cassava and other industrial crops by next year,” Dr Akoto said.

Challenges

Dr Afriyie Akoto, however, indicated that the programme could face challenges such as inadequate market and road infrastructure to preserve and distribute the produce, for which he urged the private sector to come on board to provide facilities such as warehouses to reduce post-harvest losses.

“The main aim of the planting for food and jobs policy is to reduce post-harvest losses drastically in the country,” he added.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF), Nana Osei-Bonsu, said the government must ensure that the policies benefited Ghanaian industries.

BY:  CHARLES ANDOH.

DISCLAIMER: “The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not neccessarily reflect those of  Ghana Media World. The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s).  Ghana Media World will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.” © GHANAMEDIAWORLD.COM

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