The Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Factory was the first to have a sod cut in 2017 for commencement of construction under the One-District-One-Factory (1D1F) initiative by the Akufo-Addo led government on August 25.
According to government, the aim of its flagship programme, 1D1F is to create jobs for Ghanaians and also to help grow the economy.
The goal of government to create jobs through supporting private businesses appears to be bearing fruits and recording positive dividends as the Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Factory readies to begin commercial operations in a few days.
As part of a follow up tour to the facility to ascertain progress of work, ABC News interacted with some staff of the company. Two them who spoke on camera, gave their names as Hilda and Patrick.
Prior to joining the company, Hilda narrates that she was a mobile money merchant. She joined the company as a cleaner, a job which still paid more than her mobile money vending business.
She told ABC News that she fell in love with welding while working as a cleaner at the Ekumfi Fruits and Juices company. She subsequently transferred from the cleaning unit to the metallics unit after showing genuine interest in the operations of the machines at the facility. Through training she was soon able to weld some pipes connecting to the main processing machines without assistance.
”I was a mobile money agent then I came to Ekumfi Fruits and Juices company. When I got here, I was just a cleaner but I found interest in welding. I joined them in welding the machines. I welded the pipelines And The holes as well. I had no knowledge about welding but I found interest in it,”
”For now, I am still under training on how to operate the tetra-pack machine. After every Process, that is where we do the packaging,” she opined.
Patrick, just like Hilda speaks of how his life has transformed since joining the Ekumfi Fruits and Juices factory.
”Actually I was jobless before I joined Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Company. I was trained how to operate the machine. We started with the Italians on how to fix the machines and later the Chinese came. I am a married man and I will say I am okay. I was doing something before joining the company, but it was not fetching me enough money so I came to Ekumfi Fruits and I am okay,” he said to ABC News.
The Ghana EXIM Bank financed fruits processing company is at its completion stage as engineers test run the machines for a full operational run in a couple of weeks.
The Ekumfi fruits and Juices company has a bath that washes sorted pineapple from the farms which is then carried through a conveyor belt to a cleaner and a steriliser before it gets into a crusher to separate the chaff from the juice.
The second stage which is the processing phase comprises filtration mechanisms where comprehensive cleaning works begin. This stage of the production is also known as the pasteurization stage.
The third stage which is packaging has three lines or stand ups. First is the tetra box or tetra pack packaging. At this stage, the product is packaged in a box or a can.
The Ekumfi success story came to the fore when the national coordinator for the 1D1F programme Mrs Gifty Ohene-Konadu, embarked on a working visit to the Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Limited to ascertain progress of work last Friday July 19, 2019.