Solidaridad Supports Oil Palm Farmers

Solidaridad – West Africa, an International Non-Governmental Organisation, is assisting oil palm farmers in the country on how to improve upon their farms for maximum profitability through financial and technical support.

The support which is under the Sustainable West Africa Oil Palm Programme (SWAPP) is funded by the Dutch Government.

Interacting with the Daily Graphic during a field trip to some oil palm farms and an outreach programme with oil palm farmers in the Kwaebibirem district of the Eastern Region, the project coordinator in-charge of incubator of businesses and access to finance, which is a component of SWAPP, Ms Kosi Yankey, said the project sought to provide incubation support and access to risk capital to help grow businesses and accelerate the development of a larger and more productive oil palm sector in West Africa.

She said a total of 1.5 million Euros has been invested as risk capital to support small-scale and medium enterprises in the oil palm sector in Ghana while 1.8 million Ghana Cedis has also been disbursed to over eight organisations to improve their mill extraction and efficiency.

“Eleven companies under the incubator programme are receiving assistance to grow their businesses focusing on management, leadership, and financial skills among other facts to catalyze growth positive turn-over”, she added.

Miss Yankey said 20 small scale mill processors have also received financial and technical support to procure, install and operate 20 new screw press mills which are expected to promote more efficient technology in processing and increase oil production and revenue to farmers.

An agronomist on the project, Mr. Benjamin Gabla, said farmers were taught best management practices which include, ground cover, pest, canopy, rotational and soil managements, among others.

He said through these, most farmers had increased their yields. He advised oil palm farmers to adopt best practices and not to neglect their farms.

A beneficiary of the project, Mr. Yaw Awusie Antwi who owns a 350 acre oil palm plantation, commended the NGO for the support because according to him through best management practices, he has been able to increase the yields from his farm.

He appealed to other farmers to maintain their farms which would go a long way to improve their financial status.

One of SWAPP’s objectives is to improve the oil extraction rate and efficiency. Efficient milling is essential for mills to pay good prices for fresh fruit bunches that enable farmers to invest in better management of their farms along with increasing the quality of their livelihoods, yields and profit.

Ghana has more than 1200 small scale artisanal mills that produce close to 64 percent of the country’s Crude Palm Oil. Less than 8 percent of the total artisanal mills in Ghana use screw presses. A recent mill survey conducted by SWAPP revealed that about 85 percent of all local oil palm mills still use the digester and spindle press technology while only ten percent have switched to screw press.

Credit Source: Daily Graphic 

  4 comments for “Solidaridad Supports Oil Palm Farmers

  1. May 16, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Am interested and I want to work under this project as agronomist. I have Diploma in General Agriculture with working experience so how do I join u

    • May 16, 2015 at 10:47 pm

      Hi Yakubu, you can contact Solidaridad and discuss with them. We will however advise that you make an offer to work as an intern beforehand so that you can have a brighter chance of a job offer on their projects. Here is their website url: http://www.solidaridadnetwork.org/regions/west-africa
      See below the website for their contact information. Best of luck!

  2. October 13, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Please I am a diploma in general agriculture graduate and currently offering my national service at the Ministry of food and agriculture, Kpando, V/R. In fact I am interested in projects relating to agriculture and want to join your winning team, can you consider me?

  3. January 28, 2016 at 11:13 am

    I’m an agronomist holding diploma in agric (crop production) and have work with gopdc ltd for almost ten yrs , also trained at Bunso cocoa college and have work with cocoa sector a couple of years. Fully interested in your operations and want to contribute to support your realities both smallholding and outgrowing. Thanks

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