The Oil Palm Development Association of Ghana (OPAG) has called for collective efforts from various stakeholders in the sector in its bid to improve and promote high quality oil Palm production in the Country.
That it said would enhance market access for workers in the palm oil value chain in producing finished products to meet both local and international market standards.
Mr Paul Kwabena Amaning, the National Organizer of OPDAG, made the call at Twifo Mampong in the Hemang Lower Denkyira District when he visited some artisanal Palm oil milers, growers and farmers in the district.
The visit formed part of a national mobilization tour, which took him to the Central Region to bring together all the stakeholders in the sector including; farmers and the Palm oil millers in the region to deliberate on best ways to promote management and milling practices.
That he noted, would contribute to the transformation of the oil palm sector in Ghana and West Africa to increase incomes of smallholder farmers and processors, and generate economic growth and jobs among the populace.
Mr Amaning, said the oil palm sector in Ghana had been ‘taxiing’ for too long and it was time it took off and developed the industry such that it would no longer be a net importer, but an exporter of oil palm to particularly, Countries in Africa and the world.
He said there was a huge market out there that needed to be tapped and urged the oil Palm millers and growers to collaborate with OPDAG to take advantage of the avenues within and outside to increase their incomes.
The National Organizer said in recent years, the oil palm sub-sector had grappled with the lack of a national standard for the production of palm oil and its related products, and the illegal importation of vegetable cooking oil was creating an uneven playing field for local producers.
As part of efforts towards regulating of the sub sector, OPDAG has been formed to support the Tree Crop Development Authority(TCDA) mandated to develop and regulate tree crops, including; oil palm in Ghana to enhance boost the economy.
The TCDA he said was the legal and institutional outcome of the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), a module under the Government of Ghana’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme to lead the agenda for the diversification of Ghana’s agriculture by developing the tree crops sector in order to open up new revenue streams.
Mr Amaning, who doubles as the President of Artisanal Palm Oil Millers and Growers Association of Ghana urged the stakeholders to accept the regulations of the oil Palm sector to meet the standard of requirement locally and internationally.
Obrempong Appiah Nuamah II, the Paramount Chief of the Twifo Traditional Area encouraged the stakeholders to support OPDAG in promoting and enhancing Palm oil business in the country.