Benjamin Mensah, GNA
Accra, July 11, GNA – Mr. Robert Kwasi Amoah, Member of Parliament (MP) for Achiase, has called for large scale cultivation of oil palm and processing to fight rural poverty.
He said it was the way to go to create wealth and employment for the rural population.
“I strongly recommend that many of our districts should be encouraged to cultivate large oil palm plantations and set up oil palm extracting factories,” the MP said, in a statement on the floor of Parliament.
This he added would go a long way to bring down the growing unemployment among the people.
The MP announced that he had nursed 60,000 seedlings of oil palm for distribution to out-growers.
He also spoke of plans to establish an oil extraction factory in the Achiase Constituency.
“I urge interested colleague MPs to do same for the development of mother Ghana,” Mr Amoah said.
He mentioned the Western, Central, Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Volta and Eastern Regions as places where these plantations and factories could be established under the government’s one district one factory programme, to supplement the country’s earnings from cocoa.
Ghana has been producing a total of about 243,852 metric tonnes annually. This falls short of its annual demand of 295,000 metric tonnes.
The nation has at least six major oil palm companies - Ghana Oil Palm Development Company, Twifo Oil Palm Development Company, Juaben Oil Mills, Benso Oil Palm Plantation, Ayiem Oil Mills and Norpalm Ghana Limited.
He said it was difficult to understand how the country should spend so much to import something “we can easily and conveniently produce and even have surplus to export”.
Only about 336 hectares of Ghana’s estimated cultivable land for oil palm of about one million hectares had been planted.
The MP said there was good market for the produce and underlined the need to increase its production.