SADA facilitates district level consulations on the selection of one district, one factory in the Krachi East District.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) during the 2016 elections promised in its manifesto among many other things, the establishment of One District, One Factory if elected to form the next government. True to their word, the NPP-Led Government upon assuming office, established the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives (SDI) to roll out the One District One Factory in fulfilment of its agenda to spur district level industrialization, create jobs and wealth at the local level. All Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) across the country have been tasked to identify potential viable factories that can be established to achieve this goal. This is supposed to exploit the untapped local assets to create jobs, grow industry and transform the local economy for national development. This agenda aligns very well with the Concept Master Plan that the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) has rolled out to guide the transformation of the sixty-three MMDAs across the Northern Savannah Ecological zone(NSEZ).

As part of this agenda, the Krachi East District Assembly organized a one-day consultative meeting with key stakeholders involving all District Head of Departments, Chiefs, Political Parties’ Representatives, opinion leaders and the private sector among many others to brainstorm and come up with priority projects that will inform the establishment of a functioning factory in the District. The meeting was to tap into the broader knowledge and the expertise of all who matter in order to reach a consensus on the priority factory for the District. The District, in recognizing the already prepared Master Plan and projects by SADA requested its Volta North Regional Coordinator to moderate the session.

Presentation of the Master Plan to showcase the industrial potentials in the Krachi East District

In a detailed presentation to enable stakeholders appreciate the industrial opportunities in the District, the SADA Regional Coordinator outlined broadly, the game changing projects and programmes outlined in the regional concept Master Plan with emphasis on the Krachi East District. This enabled stakeholders to easily map the potential areas in the District for the establishment of factories without having to re-invent the wheel. The SADA Zone Investment Profiles which had been compiled for the sixty-three MMDAs and their investment opportunities was another document that guided stakeholders to prioritize areas of focus. The publications authored and published by SADA have served as the prime source documents for identifying potential game-changing projects suitable for the one-district-one factory agenda by the government.

In his presentation, the SADA Regional Coordinator catalogued the numerous opportunities in the district spanning from the high production of cassava, yam and the potential for aquaculture production.

Statistics available at the District Agriculture Directorate indicates that in 2016, cassava and yam production stood at 90,804 and 89,304 tons respectively; with the capacity to produce higher margins if given a boost. The District Director of Agriculture was optimistic that productions levels would increase in the coming years with the siting of a factory which has abundant inputs to feed the industry. He added that this would create jobs and spur local level industrialization along the various value chains, he added. The presence of the river Oti also has the potential to promote aquaculture.

The basis for determining the choice of factory to be established is consistent with the availability of raw materials to feed the factory to ensure constant production all year round. Access to market, availability of land, power, labour among others helped in making a final choice.

Finally, three out of the five small groups strongly argued in favour of a Cassava production and processing Factory for the District.

By Joseph Agamah