Cape Coast, July 31, GNA - Mr Kingsley Oppong, the Operations and Supply Chain Manager of Novel Development Ghana, a research-oriented NGO, has appealed to farmers to cultivate Allanblakia (AB) tree, locally known as 'Sonkyi' or 'Atrodua', because of its immense economic benefits.
He said oil from the fruits of the tree could be extracted for the production of margarine, soap and beauty or cosmetic products. Mr Oppong, who made the call at the presentation of the results of preliminary work on Allanblackia, said just one company in Europe needed 300,000 tonnes of the tree's fruits annually but only 100 tonnes are being produced in the country annually. The research was jointly conducted by the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV Ghana), Novel Development Ghana, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) and the International Tree Seed Centre (ITSC). It was aimed at developing "a sustainable value chain" for the Allanblackia oil with the view to contribute to poverty reduction among rural communities.
He said some international companies are working closely with the AB partnership in Ghana, and have guaranteed to buy "several thousand tonnes of AB oil per annum at an attractive price." Mr Eric Agyare, an Advisor at SNV Ghana, said there are 3,200 small-scale rural farmers who are employed as collectors and stressed the socio-economic benefits of the tree. He said FAO, had also identified the tree as a crop of high economic potential for the development of rural communities and that another study has revealed that it had a higher net annual cash benefit than cocoa and oil palm.
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