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Indian engineers recalled to re-start Ghana's $300,000 silk project

Thursday August 04, 2011 12:32:00 PM, Francis Kokutse, IANS

Accra: Indian engineers who worked on a silk production project in Ghana have been asked to return as the machines had been lying idle for over seven years for lack of trained local engineers, officials said.

An Indian company that installed machines for the $300,000 silk project has been asked by Ghana's food and agriculture ministry to return and revamp the machines that had been lying idle. The project is a collaborative effort between the ministry and the regional office of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Aryan Indian Engineers personnel installed and trained local engineers and technicians at Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to work on the $300,000 silk production project as part of the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme that has imparted skills training and helped in capacity building in over 150 countries, including most countries in Africa.

Ministry officials said the return of the Indian engineers was necessary because they are keen to rehabilitate the machines as well as train Ghanaians to be recruited to work on the project. The machines were procured to process silk into high quality fabrics and Indian engineers were contracted to install them.

FAO officials said the machines were procured under the organisation's Technical Cooperation Programme but have remained idle for the past seven years at the premises of the Institute of Industrial Research (IIR), a unit of CSIR in Accra.

Officials are in the process of securing funding for farmers to produce cocoon, which is the raw material needed for the production of silk. They have also considered the possibility of using public-private partnership to manage the project which is made up of cocoon processing machines, and silk processing.

An initial test run during a pilot study show that project is commercially viable and capable of processing 50 kg of cocoons per day.

(Francis Kokutse can be contacted at




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