Minister urges oil palm processors to capitalize on PERD

Obotwene (E/R) The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Eric Kwakye Darfour has advised small scale oil palm producers and out growers to take advantage of the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme.

He explained that, taking advantage of the programme could help them benefit from the free seedlings initiative and also increase their production.

The more we cultivate these cash crops, the more it will improve production and sustain the local industries to strive better since there will be adequate raw materials for the industries”, he indicated.

He said through the PERD programme, the various municipal and district assemblies had raised and distributed over thousands of free seedlings to farmers to help drive the country’s industrialization agenda in the rural areas.

Mr Darfour made the remarks when he addressed owners of small scale oil palm processing factories, as part of an industrial tour by the Eastern Regional Coordinating Council (ERCC) and the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) to the Lower West Akim Municipality.

Under the PERD, which is one of the government’s flagship programmes, palm fruits, cashew, shea butter, coconut and coffee seedlings are being raised by the assemblies to distribute freely to farmers.

The industrial tour started from Tinalex farms to Medemafo Tease, all small scale palm oil and palm kernel oil processing factories in the Lower West Akim Municipality.

The team also visited the Ghana Consolidated Diamonds at Akwetia and the Ghana Sumatra limited in the Denkyembour District in the Eastern Region.

The tour ended at the Ghana Oil Palm Development Company Limited (GOPDC) in the Kwaebibirem Municipality, where the Regional Minister and the AGI were briefed on the activities of the company.

Mr Darfour, commended the private sector for their contribution towards addressing unemployment in the country.

He advised the small scale processing factories to channel their needs through the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) at the assemblies to be supported by the National Business for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) to aid their work.

Dr Samuel Kwadwo Frimpong, an Economic Advisor at the office of the Vice President, commended the small scale producers for their immense contribution to the economy and urged them to collaborate with government to develop the industry and country as a whole.

The Chief Executive Officer of Tinalex Farms, Mr Alex Appeatu said his facility produces about 3,750 litres of oil palm every day, adding that, with adequate machines and equipment the factory could increase its production.

Mr Appeatu said currently the company had 52 workers and a 2 ton processing machine, which digest and processes at the same time as well as a separator which separates the chaff from the palm kernel and palm oil.

Source: Ghana News Agency