Farmers whose lands were acquired by the government for the reconstruction of the Komenda sugar factory have been offered the opportunity of owning equity in the project.
The Government of Ghana is partnering the Government of India in a $36.5 million joint venture project to revive the defunct company built by Ghana’s first president, Dr Kwame Nkrumah in the 1960s, but went defunct in the 1980s.
The Indian Government is bearing $35 million of the cost.
President John Mahama last week Tuesday broke the ground for the factory’s reconstruction in the Central Region.
The 125-tonne capacity factory – which is expected to process some 1,250 sugarcanes regularly – is projected to create about 1,300 direct jobs for industrial workers and smallholder farmers, as well as spawn an additional 5,000 indirect jobs on the side.
A large tract of land – acres of which belonged to local farmers – was acquired by the Government to cultivate a sugarcane plantation to feed the plant. But instead of accepting monetary compensation for losing their lands to the project, the farmers told local journalists converting the money into equity for them is the “best” thing to do.
One farmer said they were likely to squander whatever money is given to them as compensation but having shares in the factory will ensure they have a protected investment.