In terms of employment generated, small-scale manufacturing/processing activities in the Municipality are the most important industrial sub-sectors. They include micro enterprises such as gari making, kenkey making, akpeteshi distilling, palm oil and palm kernel extraction, blacksmithing, carpentry and joinery, dress-making, soap-making and saw milling, sandcrete and landcrete production as well as charcoal production. The small-scale distilling of citronella cultivated near Musunkwa west of Abaka into oil is high quality aroma an ingredient for soap manufacturing by Unilever, (Ghana) Ltd. Is noteworthy as representing the potential of a non-traditional industrial product where the raw material, the citronella, grows almost anywhere in the Municipality.
However, by far the most important single large-scale industrial establishment is the Fruits and Flavour Ltd. located at Asebu. Using capital-intensive technology, it is the largest company of its kind in Ghana, processing lime fruits into concentrated lime juice, distilled lime oil and dried peal mainly for export as only about one percent of its lime juice is sold on the local market. It also produces juice cordials and bottled purified water for the local market. Its principal raw material input is lime fruit purchased in a five-day collection schedule from towns and villages in the Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese District as well as Anomabu and Nkusukum Traditional Areas in the Mfantseman Municipality. The purchases are made in the major season of March through May.
Although in the period 1971-1974 the company produced and exported sixty (60) percent of the world’s market of lime juice, production by the company has steadily slowed down to less than ten (10) percent of its potential production capacity due to a number of problems including the shrinking low output from the nearby private farms compounded by the occasional purchases of the fresh fruit by women entrepreneurs who export them to Nigeria and La Cote D’Ivoire. Also the company has been unable to offer improved producer prices demanded by the Lime Growers Association, in turn due to the continual falling world prices in the wake of increased output from farms controlled by its present British Schweppes International cartel as well as the new producers in countries such as Brazil and Mexico.
The international price of the company’s dried lime peal has been so low in recent years that its production had to be discontinued and part of 1998 year’s unsold output was burnt.The company employs on the average about 108 employees at an annual cost of 0312 million. It also purchases from local farmers fresh fruit valued at some 0554 million in the most recent year. In addition, it provides improved planting materials from its nursery at heavily subsidized price and education in the cultivation and management of farms. It also provides loans and fertilizers to the farmers but recently such assistance has been discontinued due to poor repayment of such loans and abuse of the fertilizers for other purposes.
The main source of energy of the company is electricity from the national grid although its diesel generators are also available for generating electrical power when needed. Their source of water is a dam constructed by the company on the Opan stream nearby. Burning is used in the disposal of waste after drying. The company is hopeful and has taken decisive action to solve the basic problem of inadequate supply of the lime fruit by acquiring large tracts of land in nearby large Districts of Assin and Twifu-Heman-Lower Denkyira The industrial sector has the following features, (i.production size and relative contributions Although in terms of high technology use the Fruit and Flavour Ltd. is the largest industrial establishment, the moderately large number of small-scale processing enterprises are the most important in terms of local entrepreneurial development, employment creation and income generation.
They play the essential role of producing those goods generally required by the local market and therefore to a large extent isolated from external forces. The Fruit and Flavour Ltd. depends mainly on external markets and produces goods mainly for external markets with the result that any external reduction of demand and / or decrease in world prices trigger difficulties for the company, and example being the burning of produced but unsold dried lime peal in the wake of persistent falls in world prices. The small-scale processing establishments are generally not subjected to this phenomenon.
Certain activities for one reason or other are dominated by males or females and lend themselves for specific gender assistance. Enterprises such as distilling, carpentry, joinery, masonry, blacksmithing, charcoal making, are exclusive areas for male dominance while activities such as head -dressing, dressing making are for women.
The small -scale enterprises have small initial and working capital.They do not obtain credit easily and have little access to formal financial institutions. According to the Survey, over 97 percent of those interviewed started their activities without any assistance from any formal financial institution as over 97 percent of them self-financed their activities.
Storage and Marketing
The small scale industries have problems in storage and marketing.The very small enterprises often sell as they produce in the same settlement at the market or on credit basis to relieve the storage and marketing problems. Those industries, such as gari-making, which produce in larger quantities often face such problems as they have to allocate more financial resources to the provision of larger storage space. Often they do not have transport facilities of their own. In some cases institutions in the Municipality which could directly patronise them prefer to use middle-persons, thus contributing to the effective lowering of prices to the local industrial producer.
Waste Product Disposal
The method of burning waste product is common but poses minimal damage to the environment as the scale of industrial activities is small.