The Artisanal Palm Oil Millers and Outgrowers Association of Ghana have achieved a significant membership growth after the intervention of the National Buffer Stock Company.
Mr. Abdul-Wahab Hanan’s company gave support to six thousand (6,000) millers and outgrowers in four regions of the country during the association’s official launch of a one million outgrower seedling project at Akyem – Asuom in the Kwaebibirim District of the Eastern Region.
Having identified the whole process of palm oil production in Ghana as the major challenge of the oil palm industry in Ghana, Mr. Paul Amaning granting an interview on UTv recounted how his studies revealed that the major and leading palm oil producing company in the world, Malaysia, took advantage of the ideal ignorance of Ghanaians, precisely the small-scale palm oil producers, and decided to refine the process of palm oil production for economic growth.
The Executive Secretary of the Artisanal Palm Oil Millers and Outgrowers Association of Ghana, Paul Amaning, in their bid to revive the oil palm industry in the country has also called on the government to prioritize palm oil in order to abrogate importation of oil from other countries.
According to him, farmers are unable to get the right variety for production and for that matter, preventing not to get the best out of their products as compared to Malaysia.
The Executive Secretary in his submission also stressed on the numerous challenges facing the millers and outgrowers in the course of the palm oil production; ranging from the nature of palm fruits, machines used, the hygienic conditions of the oil produced, effects of the contaminated oil, security features of the end product, among others.
In furtherance, he figured technology as a major challenge for the main architect which is the millers or the processors as he believes the equipment used does not help them in getting the best out of their production.
“The technology used in the country is very bad to the extent that, as at now, when you go to some part of the world like Malaysia and Indonesia being the leading producers oil palm, they have a recovery rate for their production from every metric ton to be 25% but when you come to Ghana the machines used here gives us only 8% recovery rate which does not help” he said.
When asked to enumerate some challenges confronting the oil palm industry, the executive secretary of the oil palm industry noted that on the difficulties in getting a land for their activities as he believes the Chiefs and landowners are unwilling to release the lands to undertake their exercise and since they have rescinded not to release the land it doesn’t create a business-friendly atmosphere to them.
Touching on the technologies used in Malaysia and Indonesia differs from that of Ghana, he indicated that “It is the same machine but the technology differs because Ghanaians does not value the oil palm industry.
Again, he said on lack of money on the part of the producers to be able to get the necessary equipment for their production” he emphasized.
He averred that the challenges they encounter are enormous talking about the environment they produce their product as he was keen on the safety of the producers most especially the nursing mothers.
However, he had cried for support from government and other stakeholders to invest massively in the oil palm industry.
When asked, if they have been able to approach the Government has promised to build a palm oil factory to release the burden of the producers, he said, “Yes, I know the President has keen interest in the oil palm industry and as I speak to you, there are companies abroad who are collaborating with the government to get the right technology for our production. So, I know Nana Akuffo Addo and his NPP government of which I am a member is working on the project, but how fast it will be is the problem” he added.
Touching on the recommendation to the government, he said they are collaborating with the government to come out with a policy concerning issues of taxation and other challenges confronting the oil palm industry.
He has, therefore, urged the government to speed up in coming out with the policies centering the oil palm industry, as he believes the policies will help them in flourishing in their production.