Distillers of local gin, popularly known as ‘Akpeteshie’, in the Jato Suhum Municipality of the Eastern region have called on President Akufo-Addo to honour the promise made to them during the 2016 electioneering that his government will establish a gin manufacturing factory in the area to boost the local distilling business.
According to the local gin distillers, the President must fulfill the promise by establishing a local gin manufacturing factory in the Community as part of the One -District -One factory Policy.
The group argues that the high importation of industrial alcohol by manufacturing companies for the production of alcoholic beverages in the country has collapsed the local industry creating massive unemployment in the area.
Jato is a popular community known for the production of local gin (akpeteshie) in the Eastern Region. Almost all residents in the community were engaged in the business which attracted several customers from across the country who bought the gin in large quantities for retail.
This created several employment opportunities for residents until high cost of production rocked the business years ago driving most of the distillers out of business.
Akpeteshie is brewed from Palm tree. It is an ancient gin with a long history of consumption due to several reasons including affordability.
The Local Chairman of Jato Cooperative Distillers Society, Reuben Naduku, addressing the media Thursday said about 10 to 15 acres of litigation free land has been made available to the government to build the factory in the community.
“In 2016 President Akufo Addo came here to promise us that the one -district -one factory for the Municipality will be established in this community, as a result, all of us voted for him, we noticed that he has started cutting sod for the one -district -one factory project in some parts of the country so we have also made available about 10 to 15 acre land here for the President to facilitate the project here, ” he said .
The local Chairman added that “Now our work is collapsing due to lack of resources, currently as we speak there are some people who import industrial alcohol from abroad and selling them as Akpeteshie to the public which doesn’t contribute anything to the economy of Ghana but for ours ,we use local resources in the country to produce the gin which creates employment ,we also pay several revenues to government. So we are begging the President to stop the importation of ethanol from abroad since it is collapsing our business”.
The Chief of Jato Nana Barfuor Adjewuna stated that the hopes of the entire community is high for the akpeteshie gin production factory due to its capacity to create more jobs and stimulate the local economy.