Mining giants AngloGold Ashanti, Obuasi Mine has distributed 30,000 oil palm seedlings to over 2,500 existing oil palm farmers across its host communities. The move constitute phase one of the Climate Resilient Oil Palm Project (CROPP) of the Mine.
Prior to this, AngloGold Ashanti had collaborated with Solidaridad to train beneficiary farmers on the best practices to cultivate and nurture the oil palm seedlings.
Speaking on behalf of the Senior Manager Sustainability, Daniel Arthur- Bentum, the Economic Development Superintendent of AngloGold Ashanti said the company had spent a whooping amount of GH1.8 million on the project which seeks to improve the livelihoods of farmers in six districts within the Adansi traditional area.
The beneficiary districts included the Obuasi Municipal, Obuasi East, Adansi Asokwa, Adansi North and South Districts and Akrofuom.
Launched in 2022, the CROPP according to Arthur- Bentum reflects the Mine’s unwavering dedication to support and uplift its host communities through Agriculture. He said AngloGold Ashanti is committed to creating opportunities that foster development of the local economy whiles ensuring environmental sustainability as captured in their 10-year Socio-Economic Development Plan (SEDP).
To make the project a successful one, AngloGold Ashanti will strengthen oil palm farmers into groups through Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) and will aslo anchor support and technical assistance through the VLSAs and link them to rural banks.
“We are excited to be contributing to the success of our farmers and the reclamation of degraded lands through these oil palm seedlings”, the Economic Development Superintendent stressed.
He said supporting farmers with seedlings is a sign of AGA’s commitment to supporting sustainable development and ensuring responsible business practices. He mentioned that the company has set sights on enriching Obuasi’s agric sector and promoting ecological balance within their host communities.
The Adansi North District Chief Executive Eric Kwaku Kusi lauded AngloGold Ashanti for what he described as a bold policy targeted at boosting Agriculture in Obuasi and also mitigating the effects of climate change and reclaiming destroyed lands in the company’s operational area.
He said though steps have been taken to reclaim already mined lands, the 30,000 oil palm seedlings targeted at reclaiming the lands will also create jobs for those who will be used for the exercise.
Hon Kusi also appealed to the beneficiaries not to sell the seedlings but used them for their intended purpose to achieve a desired goal.
Nana Kwaning Antwi Barimansu II who represented the Adansihene talked about the relevance of oil palm to the economy of the beneficiary districts and Ghana as a whole saying though some people aspire to work in the government sector or in the mining field, it was important to note that agriculture is the mainstay of the people of Ghana.
He said ” we all know unlike farming or agriculture, gold as a natural resource is non-renewable hence will be depleted with time. I urge the youth to develop interest in agriculture”.
He expressed delight in the fact that AngloGold Ashanti is collaborating with Solidaridad to revive interest in farming and urged the beneficiaries of the CROPP to make good use of the seedlings to sustain the program.