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16.12.2004 Business & Finance

Ayensu Starch Company Closes Down?

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... Company Denies Reports Of Its Closure

Management of Ayensu Starch Company has denied reports that the company has closed down.

Earlier reports had indicated that the company has halted operations and the appointment of more than half of its workers terminated.

But in an interview with Joy Business Report, the acting managing director of the company, Osei- Owusu Agyemang said work at the factory is only on hold pending the restructuring of the company's operations.

The Ayensu Starch Company factory at Bawjiase in the Central Region, which started operating about a year and a half ago is one of the pillars of the President's Special Initiative instituted to create employment and to boost the Ghanaian economy.

But since its establishment the starch company has had difficulties.

It has been battling to break even due to high production cost and low world market prices of starch.

The over ten thousand farmers across the country that feed the starch factory with the raw material, cassava have also been complaining about price paid for the produce by Ayensu Starch Company.

Mr. Owusu-Agyeman explained to Joy business report that the company, which has three divisions has shut down the production unit to allow for renovation works in preparation for a contract yet to be signed with one of its key suppliers.

He added that 17 out of the 25 members of staff are on their annual leave pending the completion of the renovation works, which is expected to be completed by year-end.

On the fate of the workers, Mr. Owusu Agyemang said they are expected to resume work early next month.

The company, which supplies both local and foreign companies starch has over five hundred tonnes of processed starch in stock, but has been grappling with securing market access for its products.

Mr. Owusu Agyemang declined to give details of the pending agreement but hinted that it will be signed early next year.

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