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Pwalungu Tomato Factory Rots   
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The current state of the Pwalungu Tomato Factory
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Hundreds of tomato farmers and some unemployed youth at Pwalugu in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region are worried about the way in which the once vibrant factory that provided job opportunities for many people in the region is gradually deteriorating.

Management of the company have seemingly lost control over the situation and have called on government to fulfill a promise made in 2009 by the then Trade Minister, Hannah Tetteh for a bailout.

In 2009 at a time when management needed capital injection to activate the factory to provide jobs for local farmers and youth, the then Minister Trade and Industry, Hannah Tetteh stormed the place and expressed her dissatisfaction with the state of the factory.

After criticizing management of the factory, she reiterated government’s commitment to improve the lives of people of the North.

At the time, she said the ruling party would do everything possible to revamp the factory and raise its standard to international level.

Three years after she made the promise, the spoilt vacuum pump has not been repaired or replaced.

Some important machines that broke down even before 2009 have also not been replaced while others that were in good condition at the time of Ms Tetteh visit, now Minister of Foreign, have started deteriorating.

During the 2010 and 2012 production seasons, the factory produced a total of 600 drums of tomato paste, which were allowed to rot.

As at the time of filing this report, about 200 drums of the rotten tomato paste had already been discarded.

It is not clear what management wants to do with the rotten tomato paste. There are over 50 drums of tomato paste at a warehouse and one cannot tell what would happen to the wholesome tomato paste produced in the 2012 production season.

Management has also failed to take steps to install the canning machines and accessories to start the processing of the wholesome tomatoes.

According to a concerned farmer, who spoke to Daily Guide, the current management appears to have exhausted plans to revive the factory for the benefit of farmers and the teeming youth at Pwalugu and its environs in the Upper East Region.

The NDC failed to make plans to cover the Pwalugu Tomato Factory in its recent manifesto, although various government officials paid frequent visits to the factory during the 2012 general election.
Source: Daily Guide

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