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The Board of the DIHOC Footwear Division Limited, popularly referred to as the Kumasi Shoe Factory located in Kumasi, has initiated moves to acquire a $1million tannery in Kumasi to feed the factory with its major raw material, leather.
Currently, the company imports all of its raw materials from India and the Czech Republic. This has placed a heavy financial burden on the company, which now produces boots for both the security services and private companies. The decision was taken shortly after a five-member board had been inaugurated by the Chief of Defence Staff, Vice Admiral Matthew Quarshie, in Accra. The board is made up of representatives of the Ghana Armed Forces and Knights Ghana Limited, a local company which is a branch of Knights of the Czech Republic. The Chairman of the Board, Dr Karl Laryea, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic, said the decision to purchase Kumasi Tannery would not only enhance the operations of the company but also enable management to save money to undertake the needed expansion.
Touching on some of the mechanisms that had been put in place to boost the operations of the company, Dr Laryea said the factory had acquired a modern vulcanising manufacturing plant with the capacity to produce over 550,000 pairs of shoes and boots annually. “Currently, the machine we have can produce 250,000 pairs of shoes and boots annually. With the new machines expected to arrive in November 2014, our annual production will exceed 800,000 pairs,” he said. According to Dr Laryea, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Knight Ghana Limited, the company would also be increasing its staff numbers to 250 by the end of 2014, adding that once all the facilities were put in place, an additional 550 people would be employed.