€18m For Rubber Industry

The Rubber Outgrowers and Agents Association (ROAA) has negotiated a loan of 18,000,000 Euros from Alliance Francaise de Development (AFD) of France to plant rubber trees.

The loan, which was negotiated in collaboration with Rubber Estate Limited (GREL), will cater for phase five of the association’s projects.

A total of 12,000 hectares of land would be cultivated by 4,000 farmers from 2013 to 2015 in all operational areas under the project.

The National Chairman of ROAA, Awuah-Asante, revealed this at the 10th Annual General Meeting of the Rubber Outgrowers and Agents Association (ROAA).

The meeting was under the theme: ’10 years of ROAA: Achievements, Challenges and the way forward’.

Awuah-Asante said the Association did not benefit from the government’s subsidized fertilizer programme last year, adding that the project had to procure fertilizers at the prevailing market price to supply to farmers.

He 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 expenditure 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 tonnes in 2011 to 7,602 metric tonnes in 2012, representing an increase of 21.1 percent.

He said the Association had a membership of 5,549 including 1,330 females and out of the number 2,385 are into production while the remaining have farms at different stages of development.

Richard Twumasi-Ankrah, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, in his speech, said Government has so far invested more than GH¢62 million in the rubber industry under the Rubber Outgrowers Plantation Project.

He said so far government has directly supported ROAA with over GH¢1.7 million through the provision of infrastructure and capacity building services.

Twumasi-Ankrah 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.

He said some GH¢20 million had also been disbursed to the Ghana Rubber Estate Limited (GREL) for technical assistance to farmers.

Twumasi-Ankrah commended over 300 farmers, who had fully paid loans under phases one and two of the Rubber Outgrowers Plantation Project.

By Cephas Larbi