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18.04.2007 Business & Finance

GAFCO to close Cannery Division

By myjoyonline
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The Ghana Agro-Food Company Limited (GAFCO) will shut down its Cannery Division in June this year because of lack of tuna fish.
The company uses special species of tuna, namely skip jack and yellow fin, for its Sankofa canned tuna.

The Public Affairs Officer of GAFCO, Mrs Adwoa Mensima Sey, made this known after 45 third-year students of the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) had visited the factory to explore possible areas of collaboration between the company and KNUST for the benefit of students who are studying Fisheries and Aqua Culture.

She said the closure of the cannery would render 320 workers redundant.

Mrs Sey explained that the energy crisis had already reduced the company's production capacity to 40 percent, with a workforce of about 700.

She observed that the company had "operated a risky business", noting that workers had been paid for no work done.

Mrs Sey stated that the company would however continue to process wheat for Sankofa flour and animal and poultry feed products.

A lecturer at the Department of Fisheries of KNUST, Mr Daniel Adjei-Boateng, who led the students, said the students had had theoretical training and therefore, needed to be introduced to the reality on the factory floor for practical experience.

He noted that the field tour would help the students to appreciate some problems in industry and research into what could be done to resolve them.

The Daily Graphic was told that the yellow fin and skip jack, which were the best species of tuna, were not landed in Ghana.

The tuna fishing companies, which are mainly foreign, preferred to land the special catch in neighbouring countries and brought the ordinary tuna species to the Ghanaian market.

It was also learnt that the Ministry of Fisheries was having a series of meetings with the Ghana Tuna Association to remedy the situation.