Golden Exotic Limited (GEL) Banana Farms, has supported its neighbouring Shai Osudoku District communities with three infrastructural projects to aid development in the locality.
The projects, which were funded by the company’s Fairtrade Premium Committee, includes a 10 unit completed residential housing facility for teachers and nurses at Volivo and a three-unit classroom block for the nursery and kindergarten with offices for staffs, and a six-unit classroom block with offices and washrooms at Kewum-Atrobinya.
Managing Director of GEL, Benedict Rich, speaking at the handing over ceremony, indicated that GEL is a Fairtrade certified company by FLOCERT; the international Fairtrade certification body, and as such, the projects were made possible because of Fairtrade premium receipts from its customers in Europe which amount to about one million Euros annually.
“The Fairtrade concept is a unique one. It is the only certification scheme that gives back to the producers. This is possible because of the deliberate and conscious decision of consumers to pay a premium over and above the market prices for bananas so that the difference will be transferred to workers of the supplying company.
The premium receipts are kept in an independent premium account and managed by elected representatives of workers called Fairtrade Premium Committee (FPC), which is used to support workers and their families at request,”
He further emphasized that the socio-economic impact of a thriving agro-business in a rural community such as GEL do, cannot be over emphasized especially in the light of the major migration trends from rural communities to cities and from Africa to Europe.
District Chief Executive, Shai Osudoku, Daniel Akuffo, receiving the projects on behalf of the communities, commended the company for undertaking such a significant developmental project in the community to compliment government’s effort.
“I am excited with the projects and support of GEL in the district, taking office as a DCE I inherited a lot of infrastructural challenges but they came in and used their FPC funds to construct several projects in different communities. What GEL is doing is that they are closing the developmental gap and helping government to be able to use its limited resources to embark on development projects in other communities,” he said.
Osudoku Mantse and President of the Osudoku Traditional Council, Adegbor Ngmongmowuyaa Kwesi Animle VI, in an address, expressed his profound gratitude to GEL for such projects in communities he described as rapidly-growing-population communities in the traditional area.
“It is a truism that these projects will contribute immensely to education and health delivery services in the area. Another area I have not lost sight of is the employment of large number of our people by the company which has contributed immensely to the reduction of youth unemployment in the area,” he stated.
He therefore urged teachers and nurses of Kewum-Atrobinya and Volivo to see the projects as a motivation and thereby put up their utmost best in the performance of their duties.
Golden Exotics Limited Banana Farm, is currently cultivating about 1,000 hectares of non-organic banana and 700 hectares of organic banana in the Shai Osudoku area with a direct workforce of about 3,000 of which majority are indigenes of the neighbouring communities.