Business News Sat, 14 Feb 2004

Link poverty intervention schemes with PSIs - Government urged

Juaben (Ash), Feb 14, GNA - Nana Otuo Serebuo, Managing Director of the Juaben Oil Mills, has appealed to the government to link the various schemes being implemented to the President's Special Initiative (PSI) to ensure sustainable poverty reduction.

He said beneficiaries of such intervention schemes who were mostly subsistent farmers and rural dwellers could be encouraged to intercrop their farms with oil palm to ensure permanent income from the same land after harvesting the food crops and vegetables.

Nana Otuo Serebuo made the appeal when Mr Alan Kyeremanteng, Minister of Trade, Industry and PSIs, visited the Mills to acquaint himself with progress of the company's nursery project under the PSI on oil palm plantation.

The company, one of the 12 selected to undertake nursery projects under the PSI on oil palm, has 211,000 oil palm seedlings, which could be transplanted on 4,000 acres in the Ejisu-Juaben area. The Minster also inspected the Mills facilities and equipment for processing edible oil and shea butter.


Nana Otuo Serebuo, who is the Paramount Chief of the Juaben Traditional Area and a Member of the Council of State, said oil palm cultivation as one of the poverty intervention schemes, would not only boost oil palm production but also provide sustainable incomes for families.

He said the company was currently employing about 2,000 out-grower farmers in the area and 4,000 shea nut farmers in the Northern region. Nana Otuo Serebuo said the Mills was producing 10 tonnes of oil an hour, which would be increased to 15 tonnes by the end of the year. He said the company was installing a boiler, which would use the waste products of the Mills to produce steam to generate electricity. He appealed to the government to assist the Mills with a turban to enable it extend the excess electricity that would be generated to the government hospital opposite the company and other adjoining communities in the area.

Mr Kyeremanteng said about 300,000 hectares of oil palm would be cultivated under the PSI and said the government had taken measures to ensure the successful implementation of all PSI projects. He commended the Juabenhene for his interest in oil palm cultivation and urged other Chiefs to emulate him.

Source: GNA