THE Abuakwa Formulation Plant Limited in Kumasi which produces Confidor, the insecticide used for the mass cocoa spraying exercise, has been shut down and the appointment of all management members and other staff terminated.
This followed the pulling out of the majority shareholder, Bayer Crop Science Limited of Germany, and the inability of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), the minority shareholder ,to carry on with operations.
Bayer owned 51 per cent shares in the company, while COCOBOD had 49 per cent equity shares.
A private company has been contracted to import the insecticide from Germany for use by COCOBOD in the mass spraying exercise.
Interestingly, Bayer is producing the imported insecticide in Germany.
Currently, all the equipment of the company are lying idle at Abuakwa, a suburb of Kumasi.
In an interview, Mr Charles Boakye, until the closure the General Manager of the company, expressed surprise at the closure of the company when all the equipment and staff were available for production.
Last year, workers of the company appealed to the government to intervene to suspend plans to close down the company.
In a petition to the government, the workers expressed surprise at the moves to close down the plant and contract a company to import Confidor to be sold at a higher price in Ghana.
According to the workers, they had information that plans were underway to close down the plant for Wienco Limited, a private company, to import finished products for the mass cocoa spraying exercise.
The petition, which was signed by Messrs Charles K. Boateng and John Ayisih-Henaku, the chairmen of the local union and the senior staff association, respectively, alleged that the whole process was being schemed to favour Wienco, which used to be an agent for Bayer Crop Science in the importation of Confidor.
The workers said they felt there was a plot to eventually shut down the formulation plant to enable Wienco to bring in finished products and thus maximise its profit.
They indicated that when that was allowed to go on it would defeat the government’s drive to create employment.
Mr Boakye said COCOBOD could have taken over full operations of the company, adding that “it is surprising that this did not happen”.
The former general manager told this reporter that the company, which initially employed about 100 workers, had to reduce the staff strength considerably when production went down.
Efforts to get officials of COCOBOD in Kumasi to comment on the matter proved futile as the Daily Graphic was directed to speak to people at the national headquarters in Accra.