Oil Palm Development Association of Ghana to hold stakeholders’ forum

The Oil Palm Development Association (OPDAG) will organise its 2nd National Oil Palm Stakeholders’ Forum at the Institute of Bankers from September 12 to September 13, 2019 in Accra.

The forum will be on the theme: “Building a vibrant oil palm sector in Ghana, the role of OPDAG and other stakeholders.”

A statement issued by Mr Selorm Quame, the Interim Executive Secretary and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the forum would bring together value chain actors of the oil palm sector farmers, smallholder/out-growers, farmer-based organisations and plantation companies.

The rest are palm oil mills/millers, palm oil refiners, palm-based manufacturing companies, other private sector oil palm stakeholders such researchers, academics and government officials.

The statement said the objective of the forum was to fashion out strategies to leverage on the available opportunities and build consensus toward increasing farm and processing productivity capacity, attract investments and also to close the national demand-supply gap.

It said the Association plans to use the forum to educate oil palm value chain actors on best management practices, new innovation and latest technology in the oil palm sector.

“The forum will create an educational platform and encourage the youth to consider oil palm as a viable business venture, beyond planting and harvesting,” it added.

It explained that the event would be in two forms, the stakeholders’ forum, which seeks to educate, inform and address the various challenges in the oil palm sector, and an Annual General Meeting, that seeks to build the structure of OPDAG to be the voice and advocate for all value chain actors in influencing Government policy.

The statement said it was also to attract all possible partners in addressing the challenges, while harnessing the economic potential of the entire value chain of the oil palm sector.

It said prior to the main event in September, OPDAG members would hold regional meetings in the Eastern, Western, Central and Ashanti regions to elect the association’s regional executives.

It commended government for putting in place initiatives such as the Planting for Export and Rural Development and the establishment of the Ghana Tree Crop Development Authority geared towards the development of the oil palm sector.

The statement called on oil palm stakeholders to come on board for the successful implementation and sustainability of the various initiatives.

The 2019 stakeholders’ forum is being supported by Solidaridad West Africa, under the Sustainable West Africa Oil Palm Programme (SWAPP), funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands and the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs.

The OPDAG is a non-governmental association focused on promoting socially responsible, ecologically and economically sustainable production, value addition and trading of oil palm in Ghana.

Its membership includes smallholder farmers, commercial farmers, nucleus estate plantations, millers, local refiners, manufacturers of soaps and other consumer goods plus other food companies that use palm oil and its by-products. GNA

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