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22.12.2006 General News

MP Wants Company Divestiture Investigated

By Salifu Abdul Rahaman
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THE government has been urged to investigate the circumstances that led to the sale of the Fruits and Flavours Company, at Asebu in the Central Region, to the present owner.

In a statement to Parliament last Friday now made available to the Times, Andrews K. Mensah, the Member of Parliament for Abura/Asebu/Kwamankese, said the company was on the brink of collapse and that the situation was likely to bring untold hardship to farmers in the area. Mr Mensah's statement was one of those made before the House rose for the Christmas recess.
'Mr Speaker, with an installed capacity of 30,000 metric tones of fruits per annum, the factory at its peak was the major agro-processing factory in the Central Region until 1987 when it began to nosedive, culminating in its liquidation and subsequent change of ownership in 1993,' he said.
The Fruit and Flavours Company, formerly the L. Rose, company, was established in 1936 at Asebu to process lime fruits for export. Its aim, was purchasing lime fruits from outgrowers in its catchment area and processing the fruits for export to the United Kingdom.
He said the company has no board of directors and the owner who is domiciled in the United Kingdom, takes unilateral decisions contrary to the smooth running of the factory.
Mr Mensah said the factory's installed processing capacity of 30,000 tonnes has dropped to 1,500 tonnes adding that farmers' produce is bought without proper payment made to them.
He said the majority of the workforce have been laid off and those lucky to be remaining at post, have not been paid for some months now.
'I do not intend to advocate government to take over the factory. I am only advocating governmental intervention to get to the bottom of the circumstance surrounding the sale of the factory to the present owner,' he said