Business News of Sunday, 7 April 2013
The Government of Ghana has so far invested more than GH¢62 million in the rubber industry under the Rubber Outgrower Plantation Project.
Mr. Richard Twumasi-Ankrah, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, said at the 10th Annual General Meeting of the Rubber Outgrowers and Agents Association (ROAA) at Agona-Nkwanta on Saturday.
The meeting was under the theme: “10 years of ROAA: Achievements, Challenges and the way forward”. Mr. Twumasi-Ankrah said so far, government had directly supported ROAA with over GH¢1.7 million through the provision of infrastructure and capacity building services.
He said an amount of GH¢40 million had been provided through the Agriculture Development Bank (ADB) and the National Investment Bank (NIB) for plantation development by rubber outgrower farmers.
Mr. Twumasi-Ankrah said some GH¢20 million had also been disbursed to the Ghana Rubber Estate Limited (GREL) for technical assistance to farmers. He commended over 300 farmers, who had fully paid loans, granted them under phases one and two of the Rubber Outgrowers Plantation Project.
In his annual report, Mr. Kwame Awuah-Asante, National Chairman of ROAA, said the Association realized a net income of GH¢244,689 last year as against a net income of GH¢259,270 in 2011. He said the Gross Income for 2012 was GH¢531,905 and in 2011, GH¢501,781. Mr. Awuah-Asante said total expenses of GH¢287,215 was recorded in 2012 as against expenses of GH¢242,511 in 2011.
He said Fidelity bonus earned by members in production amounted to GH¢1,075,138 as against GH¢1,076,591 earned in 2010. Mr. Awuah-Asante said rubber production grew from 6,242 metric tons in 2011 to 7,602 metric tons in 2012, an increase of 21.1%.
He said the Association had a membership of 5,549 including 1,330 females and out of this number, 2,385 are in production while the remaining have farms at different stages of development. Mr. Awuah-Asante announced that the Association in collaboration with GREL had successfully negotiated a loan of €18,000,000 from Alliance Francaise de Developpement (AFD) of France for the phase five of the Rubber Outgrowers Plantation Project.
He said a total of 12,000 hectares of rubber would be planted by 4,000 farmers from 2013 to 2015 in all operational areas under phase five. Mr. Awuah-Asante said the Association did not benefit from the government’s subsidised fertilizer programme last year.
He said the project had to procure fertilizer at the prevailing market price to supply farmers.