Distillers of local gin, known as Akpeteshie in Jato in the Suhum Municipality of the Eastern Region have called on President Akufo Addo to honour promise made to them during the 2016 electioneering campaign that his government will establish a gin manufacturing factory in the area to boost the local distilling business.
According to them, the President must fulfill his promise by establishing a local gin manufacturing factory in the Community as part of the One -District -One factory Policy.
The group argue that, the high importation of industrial alcohol by manufacturing companies for production of alcoholic beverages particularly bitters in the country has collapsed the local industry creating several unemployment.
Jato is a popular community known for production of the local gin (akpeteshie) in the Eastern Region. Almost all residents in the community were engage in the business which attracted several customers from across the country to buy the gin in large quantities for sale. This created several employment opportunities for residents until high cost of production rocked the business years ago driving most of the distillers out of business. Akpeteshie is brewed from Palm tree. It is an ancient gin with long history of consumption due to several reasons including affordability.
The Local Chairman of Jato Corporative Distillers Society, Reuben Naduku addressing the media Thursday said about 10 to 15 acres of litigation free land have been made available to the government to build the factory in the community.
The local Chairman added that “Now our work is collapsing due to lack of resources, currently as we speak there are some people who import industrial alcohol from abroad and selling them as akpeteshie to the public which don’t contribute anything to the economy of Ghana but for ours, we use local resources in the country to produce the gin which creates employment ,we also pay several revenues to government. So we are begging the President to stop the importation of ethanol from abroad since it is collapsing our business.”
The Chief of Jato, Nana Barfuor Adjewuna stated that the hopes of the entire community is high for the akpeteshie gin production factory due to its capacity to create more jobs and stimulate the local economy.