Attach importance to oil palm cultivation – Nana Siriboe

Cape Coast, March 18, GNA – The Omanhene of the Juaben Traditional Area, Nana Dr Otuo Siriboe the Second,    has urged the government and other stakeholders, to attach importance to the plantation and processing of Oil Palm in the country to enhance the industry.

He said like Cocoa, if the Oil Palm industry is given the needed support, it would be among the highest job-creation opportunities for the youth in Ghana.

Nana Siriboe who is the Patron of the    Oil Palm Development Association of Ghana (OPDAG), made the call during a day’s capacity-building workshop for 74 oil palm farmers, millers,     input suppliers, cooperatives and farm managers from the Western, Central, Eastern and Volta regions,    in Cape Coast.

The workshop which was also attended by 10 members of the Cote d’lvoire Association of Oil Palm producers,    was under the theme:   ‘Sharing experience and knowledge of the oil palm sector in Cote d’lvoire and Ghana’

The workshop,   organized   by    Solidaridad,   a Dutch not-for-profit organization,     and sponsored by the BUSAC Fund,    was to among   others,    enable the participants to    share their   talents and expertise in the oil palm   industry,   and gain in-depth knowledge of   the Cote d’lvoire    private /public partnership oil palm   industry.

Nana Siriboe pointed out that apart from cocoa, oil palm    employed a higher number of people in the country, and regretted that the sector was not given the needed support and commitment to ensure its development and    sustenance.

According to him, there was enough land to embark on commercial production, but that there was no infrastructural and micro-finance support    to help the industry to grow, adding that more than 300.000 people depended on the sector for their livelihood.

He said as a matter of urgency, the government should critically look at the sector as a major job-creation avenue.

Mr     Brouzro Hermann   Djekouakou,   Operation Manager of   Association Interprofessionale   Palmier   Huile (AIPH), who spoke on ‘ Global Organization of the oil palm sector in Cote d’lvoire , ‘ said   more than 63,000 tonnes of oil palm is produced in the Cote d’lvoire,    making it the   ninth   largest producer in the world, and second in Africa.

He said    Cote d’lvoire has more than    165 hectares of small holder plantations, 75,000 hectares of industrial plantations 40,000 farmers, 32 cooperatives, 16 mills with high capacity production    and 20 medium and small mills of small capacity.

Mr Djekouakou said the oil palm industry has made strides in Cote d’lvoire, because of the support from the government,    as well as the coming together of the various associations and stakeholders    in the sector, thereby making it one of the vibrant businesses   in the country.

He said   though the sector had chalked some successes   in terms of improving road network in the country,   and creating jobs, it was challenged with the satisfaction of   the high demands oil palm products,           participation   in food security and improving the living   conditions of the   people, irregular   raw materials and   un fair competition .

Mr Djekouakou called for a stronger collaboration and partnership between Ghana and Cote d’lvoire to enhance the further growth and development of the oil palm sector.

Mr    Samuel Avaala,   President of OPDAG,    said the oil palm sector in Ghana   has been ‘taxing’ for long   and   that it was time   to develop the   industry   such that it would    no longer be a net importer but   an exporter of oil palm   to particularly land locked countries in Africa.

He said there was a huge market out there, and called on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and other stakeholders to collaborate with OPDAG,    to take advantage of the market avenues available.

Other topics treated at the workshop   included   ‘Institutional frameworks for development   of the oil palm   sector in Cote d’lvoire’,   ‘sustainable funding of research and the external   support in oil palm sector’, ‘ organization of agribusiness companies in oil palm sector ‘,    ‘organization and support to cooperative and farmers’,   ‘Fresh Fruit   Bunches    (FFB)   and Crude Palm Oil pricing   Mechanism system’, and ‘climate smart oil palm   production in Ghana: a 20 year strategy   to increase production and decrease   greenhouse gas emissions.’

GNA


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