GRATIS Foundation optimistic about One District, Dne Factory

With the hectic electioneering and inauguration over, the coming days will see the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and his team settling down to deliver on their mandate as spelt out in their manifesto.

Of the many manifesto promises made by the new administration is the One District, One Factory (1D1F) which arguably caught on with many voters.

Many are those who have expressed scepticism about the policy but the proponents believed it was doable and with the smooth handover of political power, all eyes will be on the government to deliver.

On June 20, 2016 when the then flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) mentioned that he would  set up one factory in every district, it was rubbished by a lot of people that it was not possible and that it was just a political talk.

One agency of state which is, however, optimistic about the success of the concept is the GRATIS Foundation.

The former Chief Executive Officer of GRATIS, Mr Emmanuel Asiedu, in an interview with the Daily Graphic noted that industrialisation is the key element in the economic development of any country and thus re-emphasised his outfit’s commitment to help the new government to fulfil its promise of delivering the 1D1F.

Mr Asiedu noted that as an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry their mandate is to promote industrialisation and the dissemination of appropriate technologies in all regions of the country by developing and demonstrating marketable products and processes which will enable micro, small and medium enterprise to increase productivity, employment and the resultant multiplier effect on the economy.

He said to fulfil that mandate, GRATIS, which has offices in all regions of the country proposed to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government to set up processing centres (200 factories) in all districts in the  area of Agri/Agro processing.

This, he said, was captured in the 2014 government of Ghana Budget statement delivered by the Minister of Finance, Mr Seth Terkper, to Parliament (item 457). However, the policy was not implemented.

Mr Asiedu said as the campaign got off the ground, the NPP and its flag bearer bought into the idea and invited him over as a technocrat to do a presentation on the concept which he did.

He said having been an advocate of the idea to reduce post-harvest losses, he was elated to hear the NPP flag bearer mention the policy on the campaign tour. He said he was later invited to make a presentation to the Nana Akufo-Addo-led team.

Post-harvest losses

He explained that although 60 per cent of the country’s population were into agriculture, about 40 per cent of farm produce in Ghana was wasted after it had been harvested by farmers.

Mr Asiedu said if there were enough factories to buy, store and process the produce, it would empower the farmers economically and also strengthen the local economy.

He said this explained why he thinks the 1D1F policy proposed by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is a step in the right direction.

Mr Asiedu said building at least one factory in all the 216 districts in Ghana, whose type and size will depend on raw material availability and needs of the district, will ensure continuous operation throughout the year, and will also allow farmers to have their produce processed so they get a good price.

Additionally, migration from the rural areas to urban centres would reduce, he added.

He said a factory needed not to be a huge edifice but one whose capacity would range from 0.5 to  two tonnes per hour, stressing that most of the factories be agri/agro oriented.

Mr Asiedu said the Gratis Foundation currently has the capability to produce  the needed machinery to support the setting up of such factories in all the districts and can also partner other local manufacturers to produce about 90 per cent of machines and spare parts that will be required to produce the items.

Types of products

He enumerated the type of products that can be manufactured locally to include, fish feeds, wrapped and labeled smoked fish, fruit juice (watermelon, mango, pineapple, oranges), fruit concentrate; sugar juice, salt, soap (Alata, washing powder) and porridge making.

Canned kenkey, ekwegbemi and dough. Cassava into gari, cassava flour and cassava dough agbelema.

Others are flours from cassava, yam, plantain, cocoyam.  Animal products such as poultry, goat, sheep, ginger onion and garlic preservation. Chips:- Cassava, plantain, cocoyam and yam chips.

Palm products such as oil, soup, canned snails; tomato paste, puree and ketchup.

Sheabutter products such as raw butter, pomade and soap, among many other products.

Millet & Corn:- Flour, packaged or canned Tuozaafi (TZ), Ayoyo (soup); Bottled or canned pito and other drinks; Groundnut:- Fried (canned), paste, soup (canned) and oil (bottled). Rice:- manufacture machines such as – Mini-Combined Harvester, Reapers, Millers, Polishers, Destoners, packaging machines, etc.; Rice producing factories;

Spare parts for vehicles and Industry.


He noted that with about one billion dollars, the one factory-per-district policy should be able to take off and urged the government to liaise with its development partners to get the programme running.


Mr Asiedu said the successful implementation of the policy would help Ghana develop its local capacity to manufacture machines and spare parts. Again, approximately 10,000 direct jobs would be created while post-harvest losses would be reduced to the barest minimum.

He added that the roll-out of the policy would lead to the reduction of importation of goods, increase exports, strengthen the local currency, among other benefits.

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