GIHOC Distilleries Company Limited, a state-owned manufacturer of distilled and alcoholic beverage brands, has outlined plans to set up five fruit-based alcohol plants known as Standardisation Depots under the One District-One Factory (1D1F) initiative of the Akufo-Addo government.
The factories are to be located in five selected agricultural communities in the country namely, Techiman, Goaso, Nsawam, Bibiani and Agogo.
The Managing Director of GIHOC Distilleries, Mr Maxwell Kofi Jumah, who outlined this plan at a stakeholder insurance engagement for 1D1F Business Promoters in Accra on Thursday, said the yet-to-be constructed factories will transform discarded or rotten fruits into alcoholic drinks and wine.
He believes that the initiative GIHOC is about to embark on will offer thousands of employment opportunities to the unemployed youth in the value chain.
“It is the various value chain activities of a factory in a district that will create real sustainable jobs for the youth. Because of the benefits to be delivered, GIHOC has positioned itself to participate in the 1D1F initiative. GIHOC envisages to set up five fruit-based alcohol plants (Standardisation Depots) depending on the availability of discarded fruits – wherever we have more fruits, we need the youth to go and gather them, wash them and standardise it (take it to the milling machine) and bring it to us. We are the off-takers, we will buy everything that you produce because the alcohol that you get from these fruits are the best and GIHOC, we are committed to doing that and we are lucky we have the support of 1D1F”, he noted.
According to Mr Jumah, Ghana is endowed with fruits because of the favourable climate, stressing that the country is one of the few places in the world where fruits are in abundance.
“In alcohol business – there are three types; we have the molasses made from sugarcane, grain alcohol made from grains and sometimes from cassava – this is the most popular alcohol used all over the world. Almost 70 per cent of the fruits go to waste given that the country has them in abundance. It is in this that GIHOC intends to leverage,” he explained, insisting that the best alcohol is the one made from fruits.
Mr Jumah also noted that piloting of the project has already been done and the outcome very encouraging.
For her part, the National Coordinator of the 1D1F Secretariat, Gifty Ohene-Konadu, welcomed GIHOC’s decision to set up the fruit plants indicating that the impact in the localities will be enormous and that the government is ready to continue to companies and institutions to grow.
Ghana exports most of its traditional and non-traditional commodities in their raw state for which the economic benefits to the country and its farmers are very low.