The country has been urged to prioritise the production of oil palm, as it has the potential of positioning the economy to compete with leading global cash-crop producers.
“Ghana could become a leading producer and exporter of oil palm and rub shoulders with countries like Malaysia and Indonesia if it focuses on production of the cash crop,” said Paul Kwabena Amaning, Founder of the Artisanal Palm Oil Millers and Outgrowers Association of Ghana.
Speaking at this year’s media encounter during launch of the Association in Koforidua, Eastern Region, on the theme ‘Making Ghana Next World Palm Oil Destination’, Mr. Amaning said the Association is poised to revitalise the production of palm oil in the country.
He said the Association has taken steps to implement initiatives and programmes to provide financial assistance to members under a policy called Single Own Processor.
It will assist members to acquire top-notch milling and extraction machines and offer services to members at affordable fees, and inspire them to purchase the milling and extraction machines.
In 2015, a Ghana Statistical Service report put the average palm oil consumed locally by Ghanaians at around 285,000 metric tonnes.
Mr. Amaning, however, cited lack of technology for extraction and milling processes, lack of government support and less attention on farmers in the oil palm industry – which puts Ghana at a disadvantage to compete fairly with Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries on the world market – as some of the challenges.
Currently, the Artisanal Palm Oil Millers and Outgrowers Association of Ghana has about 3,000 registered members across the Ashanti, Eastern, Volta, Oti, Central, Western, Western North, Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions.