The General Secretary of the General Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU) says it is commendable that government is considering a review of the One District One Factory (1D1F) policy.
Edward Karewe said GAWU has always held that although the policy is a good one it appeared unrealistic at the time it was introduced.
He told Joy News’ Evans Mensah on Newsnight Tuesday that the policy was too ambitious.
“To build a factory, according to conservative information, takes not less than two years.
“You could see that from 2017 to date just a few of the factories are being started and yet to be completed. It is clear that they will not be able to provide all of the 216 factories that were promised,” he said.
He added that the number of factories to be established by the government is very likely to be reduced further by the time the Akufo-Addo government finishes its first term.
“These [factories] are private-sector driven and what we are hearing is that 70% of the capital is coming from the private sector with government providing 30%. Even though government is supporting, it largely depends on the private sector person,” he explained.
According to him, because the policy is heavily dependent on the private sector, it makes it difficult for government to determine and conclude when the factories will be completed when it has minimal control.
Senior Minister, Osafo Maafo
Meanwhile, the debate on whether or not government can deliver on its grand promise of having at least one factory in all 216 districts across the country in its first term in office seems to have been settled.
Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo on Tuesday admitted government will not be fixated on the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) own manifesto promise of delivering on that promise within four years.
Speaking at the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast meeting Mr Osafo Maafo said government is simply hoping to have factories in a majority of districts in its first term.
“So far 15 projects have been approved for implementation under the 1D1F…we expect that by end of this year, 50 of those which have been appraised will be in production,” he added.
Acknowledging efforts by government, Mr Karawe said the 1D1F’s synergy with other government policies like One Village One Dam and Planting for Food and Jobs policy is commendable but how one dovetails into the other has so far been problematic.
“With Planting for Foods and Jobs policy, for instance, the expectation is that if the farmers produce more then they will feed the factories which are to be built within the same area,” he said.
However, he stated that government does not need to necessarily build a factory in every district.
“We need to have factories that can cut across a number of districts. The Bolgantanga Meat Factory, for instance, can take care of the northern part of the country.”