The Gold Fields Ghana Foundation (GFGF) has been adjudged the Second Best Medium to Large Scale Farmer by Benso Oil Palm Plantations (BOPP), a leading producer and processor of oil palm in Ghana with a large market share in the West Africa region.
The award was for the Foundation’s Awudua oil palm plantation project, which was established in 2008 to, among other things, help address the unemployment challenges in Awudua and surrounding communities, generate revenue for the local residents and develop local capacity in the management of agribusiness.
The 210-acre Awudua plantation has been supplying fresh fruit bunches (FFB) to BOPP for the past two years.
BOPP, which is the only oil palm company in West Africa that is certified by the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) – an international organization that promotes the sustainable production of oil palm – ensures that all palm fruits procured from farmers meet the highest global standards of economic, social, and environmental sustainability along the entire value chain.
GFGF works collaboratively with BOPP, traditional authorities, and other key stakeholders in meeting and maintaining these standards, while ensuring the provision of technical advice and transfer of knowledge to farmers on the project.
Alfred Baku, Head of Gold Fields’ West Africa operations and Chairman of the GFGF Board of Trustees, said, ‘the Foundation will soon hand over the Awudua project to the community to own, operate and manage. The revenue potential of this project is quite remarkable, as the FFB supplies are expected to increase in the coming years. Communities stand to benefit immensely, in terms of employment creation and income generation, if they are able to manage it effectively.’
Mr. Baku said the company has commenced the project and put in place the necessary structures which should make it relatively easier for communities to take over and manage it profitably.
The project has so far supplied over 351 metric tonnes of fresh fruit bunches to BOPP, with a commercial value of about GHC77,000.
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