The Founder of the Artisanal Palm Oil Millers and Out-growers Association of Ghana (APOMOA), Mr. Paul Kwabena Amaning, has indicated the commitment and readiness of his outfit to make the country a leading palm oil exporter in Africa.
According to him, “APOMOA is ever-ready and very determined to ensure that Ghana becomes the leading producer and exporter of palm oil in the world, beating Malaysia and Indonesia, and completely take over the whole African market as well.”
Mr. Amaning accentuated that the unflinching desire to resurrect palm oil production and make Ghana the next destination and dominant force for the product motivated him to register the Artisanal Palm Oil Millers and Out-growers Association of Ghana at the Registrar-General’s Department of Ghana.
He explained that APOMOA was birthed to address the challenges undermining oil palm plantations, influence government policy on same, and serve as the mouthpiece and consultant to oil palm farmers/producers and consumers.
The Association further aims at supporting the research, planning, technology and machinery towards the production, extraction and milling processes of palm oil in Ghana.
The Artisanal Palm Oil Millers and Out-growers Association of Ghana, currently, has about 3,000 registered members across the country, predominantly in the 10 oil producing regions in such as the Ashanti, Eastern, Volta, Oti, Central, Western, Western North, Bono, Bono East, and Ahafo.
Mr. Amaning hinted that a research, conducted by his team, indicated that lack of quality technological infrastructure for extraction and milling processes, lack of government support and less attention to farmers in the oil palm industry are some reasons Ghana is unable to supply palm oil to compete fairly with Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries on the world market.
He is convinced that if the aforementioned challenges are addressed, palm oil can significantly contribute to national economies, driving rapid economic growth and contributing to the alleviation of rural poverty.
Malaysia exported around 16.7 million tonnes of palm oil in 2010, with a value of about US$15 billion, equivalent to over 9% of the country’s total exports. At the same period, Indonesia exported 16.7 million tonnes with a value of US$14. 8 billion equivalent to over 12% of the country’s exports.
The palm oil industry is a significant contributor to job creation and rural income in Malaysia and Indonesia. Palm oil development at the local level has played a significant role in reducing rural poverty and improving infrastructure in Malaysia and Indonesia.
The European Union (EU) imported over 9 million tonnes with a value of 5.4 billion Euros of palm oil and palm kernel meal.
In the United Kingdom alone, palm oil imports created about 6, 800 jobs and contributed £330 million to the GDP and £140 million in tax revenues.
He highlighted that there is a huge market and potential for the palm oil industry globally and locally, and APOMOA, through a business model, would implement the following initiatives and programmes geared towards ensuring the total transformation of the palm oil industry in Ghana:
The APOMOA Founder revealed the provision of financial assistance to members under a policy called Single Own Processor to enable them acquire and own top-notch milling and extraction machines.
Other business models include offering of services to members at affordable fees, for those who are unable to purchase the milling and extraction machines, to ensure sustainability of the use of certified palm oil by its members.
The rest are offering of training services and capacity building to members and serve as the mouthpiece and liaison organisation between the government and members.
However, according to the record of the Ghana Statistical Service, in 2015 the average quantity of palm oil consumed locally by Ghanaians at both the industrial and individual level is around 285,000 metric tonnes.
This is measured against the annual production of 155,000 metric tonnes. The shortfall of the 130,000 metric tonnes could be easily further reduced if measures are not put in place to curtail such an ugly situation.
The only solution to address the shortfall and subsequently triple the production of palm oil is the adoption of technology proposed by the Artisanal Palm Oil Millers and Out-growers Association of Ghana.
The proposed technology would increase the recovery rate of palm oil from the FFB from 8% to 18% on average.
Henceforth, all other things being equal, we are expecting to achieve at least a 100% increment in palm oil production in the country if the proposed technology of the Artisanal Palm Oil Millers and Out-growers Association of Ghana is adopted by the Government of Ghana for its palm oil producers.
We are entreating others to come on board and register with the association for our collective good.
The association would like to also urge the government to take the palm oil industry seriously, since it has the potential to positively contribute to the GDP and tax revenues of the country.