GHANA – Astek Company Limited, a fruit juice processing factory in South Ghana is set to commence operations in April 2020 reviving operations after it shut down in 2009 as a result of financial challenges.
The government of Ghana has extended monetary support to revamp the company as part of the government’s Stimulus Package Programme to companies under the flagship one district one factory (1D1F) initiative using its subsidiary company Nano Foods Limited.
In addition to that it has put in place measures to closely monitor the firm’s operations, actively promote the company’s products, regularly engage and support Ghana Standards Authority to ensure consistency in standards and facilitate the access to finance to address future Capital Expenditure and Working Capital requirements.
The company applied for an amount of GHS5,444,760.00 (US$0.98m) from EXIM Bank consisting of capital expenditure of GHS2,639,760.00 (US$0.47m) and working capital of GHS2,805,000.00 (US$0.5m) which was approved.
Mr Alan Kyerematen, Minister for Trade and Industry disclosed that the capital expenditure component of the amount GH¢2,639,760.00 (US$0.47m) had been disbursed to the company, with the working capital component still outstanding.
He said the company had also used part of the disbursed amount to refurbish the company’s premises but would require an additional amount of GH¢500,000.00 (US$90,000) to complete the refurbishment due to cost overrun.
Astek is currently waiting for the arrival of a pineapple processing equipment which could process about 600 metric tonnes of pineapple per annum and once operations commence it will create a minimum of 60 direct jobs and 200 indirect jobs.
As of now, the company has been able to secure orders to export Canned Sliced and Chunked Pineapples to Spain, USA, and Egypt under the new brand name Nano Foods and plans on producing and supplying Fresh Pineapple Juice for the local market.
In order to enhance the smooth flow of raw materials to feed the factory, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry has supplied Pineapple Suckers to Out-growers and Farmers within the Nsawam-Adoagyiri area.