Review oil palm production policies – BOPP
One of Ghana’s leading producer of palm products with the biggest palm plantation in the country, Benso Oil Palm Plantation (BOPP) is asking the government to review policies on the oil palm production.
This according to BOPP, is expected to create favorable business environment and enable the private sector invest in the oil palm industry.
Speaking at an award ceremony the General Manager of BOPP Mr. Samuel Avaala said it was about time that Ghana took the oil palm industry serious as there was potential for the industry to equal the cocoa sector.
He believed when the industry is well managed it will create wealth for rural communities and boost the economy at large.
“there are too many bottlenecks in the industry, as we paid GHC1 million for domestic energy alone this year whereas the company’s direct cost of processing a tonne of fresh fruit bunch was about seven dollars, the corresponding indirect cost was about 10 dollars.”
“To this end, the company would, from the next production year, begin to pay a 12.5 per cent corporate tax, quizzing: is this not high cost of doing business in Ghana?” he added.
Mr Avaala, also bemoaned the challenges they face with land acquisition coupled with the non-existence of suitable long term and patent capital for agriculture, particularly tree crops, appealing to policy makers and development partners to come together to address some of the challenges investors go through, especially those that go through BOPP.
This is expected to help expand nucleus estate and smaller holders and out grower schemes.
Data available suggest that the BOPP paid a total of GHC26.3 million in purchasing fruits from small holders and out growers and transporters in the Western and Central Regions and this could be significantly increased if more land was made available for development.
On the success story of BOPP so far, data shows that between January and November, this year, the Company processed 100,936 metric tonnes of fresh fruit bunches compared to 89,681 metric tonnes processed in the same period last year, representing a 12.5 per cent.
For corporate social responsibilities, the Company awarded scholarships to a total of 44 students in the catchment area and children of employees at the second cycle and tertiary levels bringing to 246 beneficiaries since the inception of a scholarship scheme in 2007.
Meanwhile Mr. Avaala announced that the Company, which was 40 years this year, was adjudged leader in agriculture and agribusiness in Ghana at this year’s Ghana Investment Promotion Centre’s Club 100 awards.