Ghana has intensified its effort at increasing oil palm production to create wealth and jobs, by strengthening extension service support to growers.
As part of this a four-day training and workshop on oil palm cultivation had been held for agricultural extension officers drawn from across Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions, at Fumesua, in the Ejisu Municipality.
The programme was jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Ministry (MOFA), Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 Africa Palm Oil Initiative, Proforest and Solidaridad.
The goal was to adequately equip them to assist farmers to adopt best farm management practices to boost production levels for optimal economic returns.
It also provided the platform to discuss ways of ensuring sustainable oil production.
The Reverend John Manu, Ashanti Regional Director of MOFA, underlined the need to go the extra mile to introduce farmers in the oil palm belt to improved farming practices.
That was the way forward to substantially raise production – both as cash crop and food crop.
Ghana joined the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 Africa Palm Oil Initiative in year 2015 with the aim to promoting a thriving and prosperous palm oil industry that would make significant contribution the to the economies of the rural communities.
The Alliance, currently engages 10 West and Central African countries –Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote D’ Ivoire, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic.
The Rev Manu announced that an action plan had already been develop to guide the production of oil palm in the country.
With the world’s population projected to hit nine billion by year 2050, about 70 per cent more food calories was going to be required and he called for a global multi-stakeholder partnership to stop commodity-driven deforestation.
Meeting the rising demand for food and consumer goods had come at the expense of the forest, making commercial agriculture the main driver of tropical deforestation.
He pointed out that, deforestation-free supply chain was critical to low carbon emissions.