The National Coordinator for the government’s flagship One-District-One-Factory project, Mrs. Gifty Ohene-Konadu, has suggested to churches to take advantage of the opportunities under the One-District-One-Factory initiative and go into the manufacturing sector.
She strongly believes that the church as a well organized body, and having thrived in the education, health and other sectors of the economy, will do much better when they enter into the manufacturing field to complement the efforts of existing businesses.
This, she noted, will boost the economy by creating numerous employment avenues for the unemployed youth, especially, at the district level where their services are mostly needed.
“There has been historical links with churches in Ghana in areas of economic growth and development. Contributions in education from the churches have been very tremendous. The Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA), for instance, has supported the country’s kindergarten, primary, secondary, technical, teacher training and tertiary institutions. They have been viewed as real agents of development.
“In areas of business development, the SDA Church as an institution has supported the establishment of businesses and factories. At the Valley View University Business Center, development units exist to build entrepreneurship. With the proactive visions of His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, I wish to call on churches, to throw their weight behind the manufacturing and establishment of factories across the length and breadth of the country,” she noted.
She added: “You have supported education, health and your core spiritual development. With your entry into manufacturing, the churches will create jobs for members and non-members of the church. I wish to urge all of us to rekindle our entrepreneurial acumen scan our environment for business opportunities; challenge ourselves with clear goals and objectives; and with persistence and commitment let us resolve to build factories to land Ghana into economic prosperity for the benefit of all”.
Madam Ohene-Konadu made this appeal, Wednesday, June 13, 2018, when she inaugurated the Lan T Soy Milk Company at Asutuare in the Asuogyaman District in the Eastern Region.
Lan T Soy Milk Company is a Chinese owned company specialized in producing soy milk on daily basis.
The company which started production in February, 2018, after having been certified by the Foods and Drugs Authority (FDA) and the Food and Research Institute with permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) produces 5,000 pieces of soy milk daily are served to churches, stores and schools for free.
The SDA Church, according to the National Coordinator of the One-District-One-Factory project, have special passion for quality food and expressed the belief that their entry into the manufacturing sector, especially, into food production, will be of great service to the country.
She said discussions with the banks participating in the 1D1F initiative are yielding positive results with respect to the collateral security demanded by the banks.
Some of the banks, Madam Ohene-Konadu added, are prepared to explore alternative approaches to landed property considerations, believing that this is a rare opportunity for the churches to grab and enter into the field of manufacturing.
“The banks are now considering extending the tenor of their loan repayments to accommodate some of the 1D1F projects instead of lending short term as dictated by their deposit profiles. The Participating Financial Institutions have been very supportive and they deserve commendation. They have provided full financial support for construction of 18 factories which are at various stages of construction and this is number 19. These projects cover fruit processing, potato processing, cassava into ethanol, garment manufacturing, carbonated drinks, timber processing and clay into tile and brick production”, she explained.
The One-District-One-Factory initiative is an economic transformational agenda being spearheaded by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
It derived its rationalization from the fact that efforts of the hardworking rural poor do not receive required compensation because of depressed prices.
The initiative which seeks to establish processing factories that utilize the resource endowment of the districts in the country will address post-harvest losses of farm produce and bring optimum compensation and restore dignity to farmers.
The initiative is private sector driven with the One-District-One-Factory Secretariat playing a facilitation role in ensuring that there are access roads, water and electricity at all project sites.
Madam Ohene-Konadu commenting further, expressed the hope that the business will grow for new products to evolve to create more employment to improve the livelihoods of the residents within its operational zone.
She is also hopeful that the company will contribute its quota to developing the nation and deepen the ties between Chan and China
Lan T Soy Milk Company, a subsidiary of Lan Tianyi Beverages was founded in 2015 by Pastor Lan Yongsheng with his wife and some Ghanaian partners.
Pastor Lan Yongsheng, an Adventist, has vast professional experience in pastoral ministry and business.
He served as the Head Pastor of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Jinlin Province for more than 16 years. He managed over 100 churches within the Province. He is also an illustrious business man, having successfully opened and run one of the biggest soymilk production companies in China. The Company, Royal Heaven Beverages Ltd, in China has been operating for 8 years.
He is a product of Jinlin University and holds a degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Having successfully created and sustained one of the most profitable soy milk production companies in China (Royal Heaven Beverages), Pr. Lan and his team were keen to replicate this success within the West African sub-region. After careful considerations- political stability, economic stability, business friendly environment etc, the team decided in 2015 to set up the soy milk processing plant in Ghana.
The company acquired over five thousand (5,000) acres of land in the Volta Region where the soya beans are cultivated and this site in Asutsuare for the Processing plant. The construction of the processing plant also commenced within the same year 2015.
Lan T Soy Milk Company currently employs over 50 factory workers and sub-contractors and over 30 farm workers to cultivate the beans.
Between 2015 and now, the company has successfully obtained all the required licenses and permits to operate the factory.