Mondelez Cocoa Life International, a non-government organisation, has commissioned a $1.3 million soap processing factory at Sefwi-Essam in the Bia West District of the Western North Region.
Speaking at the commissioning, Mr Adama Issah, Union President of the Bia West Mondelez International Cocoa Life Corporative stated that production at the factory would be done in phases, with the first phase aimed at the production of liquid and solid natural soaps.
According to him, the second phase would focus on the production of organic potassium carbonate while the final phase would be looking at toothpaste and organic fertilizer production.
He explained that the organisation had the objective of mobilizing farmers within the district to work together towards achieving a common interest to improve upon yields and ensure community development, environmental sustainability, youth engagements, women’s employment and financial empowerment.
He said the cooperative which was made up of cocoa farmers and marketing union limited was established in 2015 with less than 1000 members but could now boast of more than 9,909 members.
According to him, premiums received from MONDELEZ International strictly adhered to development plans agreed by the general assembly to ensure that their outlined objectives were achieved.
Mr Issah mentioned a few school projects undertaken at Tepakrom, New Nsuatre, Otengkrom, Dansokrom, and teachers’ Bungalow at Kwasi Nkrumah Bianoand New Nsuatre as some of their achievements in the educational sector.
On health and sanitation, he mentioned the construction of a clinic at Papaase, CHIPS Compound at Amoakrom, New Wenchi and Kroboman among others.
He emphasized that MONDELEZ international through the premium and other incomes from traditional livelihoods has been their source of funds for making this a reality.
For her part, Nana Yaa Appiah Amekudze, Country Lead, Cocoa Life International asked farmers especially cocoa farmers to invest in their various communities since without the community there would be no farmers.
She also asked other corporative groups to emulate what MONDELEZ had done in the Bia district and promised that her outfit would continue to support any group that reached out to them for support.
Mr Matthew Annor, Bia West Organizer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in a message read on behalf of the Bia West Member of Parliament (MP), Mr Augustine Tawiah commended the NGO for setting up the factory in the area, stressing that it would help reduce unemployment in the area.
He also pledged a GHS10,000 to support their operations.
Mr Benard Gyebi Blay, Bia West DCE on behalf of the District Assembly also expressed joy about the initiative and commended the organization for their continuous support to the assembly.
He further asked them to maintain the edifice for future use.
Nana Ofori Ahenkan II, Chief of Sefwi Bonzian also commended the organization for the initiative and asked them to venture into other areas as the traditional council was poised in supporting them.
He appealed to the youth who would be employed to take the factory as their personal property and work hard to sustain its operations.