The 1D1F, which is the key component of the government's industrialisation agenda across the country, is expected to create jobs, change the local economy, transform lives and propel growth.
In the Western Region, out of hundreds of business proposals submitted, about 40 have been approved. The approved companies are expected to go into various forms of manufacturing. The areas covered include cement grinding for construction, processing natural rubber to rubber products, tiles production, production of coconut oil, paint and glue, production of activated carbons, fish processing, natural rubber processing, production of roofing sheets and nails.
The others are the manufacture of ceramics and tiles, salt, caustic soda production, palm kernel oil/cake oil palm processing and aquaculture production, production of oil palm and bar charcoal, production of jute sacks, livestock production and processing cocoa into liquor powder. The companies are also looking at natural fruit drinks production, vehicle tyre factory, aquaculture and bamboo charcoal, production of gas cylinders, cassava processing, production of quarry chips from boulders, processing of cocoa husks to potassium salt, among others.
An interaction with some of the officials of companies who are putting up their structures and installing machinery indicated that within the shortest possible time, more factories would start the production of industrial starch, oil palm, cocoa processing, cocoa liquor and palm kernel among others.
The factories indicated that the main target markets for the palm kernel, cocoa liquor and starch from cassava among others were outside the country. However, local manufacturing companies who hitherto sourced those materials from outside the country had visited the factories and were eager to be part of the off-takers.
One of the challenges faced by the companies that is slowing the progress of work is funding, which is not forthcoming from the financial institutions assigned to them under the project. Many of the promoters have had to resort to sourcing funding from private, family, personal and other sources to enable them to actualise the initiative. The Western Region, which is home to a considerable number of natural resources, has these factories carefully selected and sited near raw materials to serve as feedstock for sustainable production.
It makes it feasible for industries that use rubber products such as tyre manufacture, rubber estate, as well as cocoa processing, ceramics, palm and cassava to source their raw materials from farms in the region. When contacted, the Western Regional Director of Trade, Mr Isaac Yankson, described the 1D1F as a good intervention even though it was moving at a slow pace due to financial challenges. Majority of the financial institutions assigned to those prospective companies, he said, were yet to extend their support, making the initiative in the region slower than expected.