Ghana has developed a number of initiatives to promote the palm oil industry under the African Palm Oil Initiative (APOI).
They include the establishment of the Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA), the development of a national cross-commodity platform, gender mainstreaming in the palm oil industry.
This is contained in data on the APOI, released by Proforest, a global non-profit organisations with a mission to drive commodity production and sourcing that delivers positive social and environmental outcomes for people, nature and the climate.
It said APOI established in 2014, was a multi-stakeholder initiative bringing together government, companies and communities in ten palm oil-producing countries including Ghana.
The other countries are Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Edo State (Nigeria), Gabon, Liberia, Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone.
“These ten countries in Central and West Africa account for 25 per cent of global tropical forests, and more than 75 per cent of Africa’s forests,” it said.
Proforest said APOI was established with the “Vision to create a prosperous palm oil industry that brings jobs and wealth to local communities in a way that is environmentally and socially sustainable and protects the rich tropical forests of the region.”
The non-for-profit organisation indicated that APOI provided a framework for governments to engage with local communities and the private sector, while giving companies a channel to fulfil their commitments to reduce commodity-driven deforestation.
That, Proforest said, as to promote the environment and country’s forest as well as create jobs for the youth.
“In November 2022, Ministers from all ten APOI countries will sign an expanded declaration as part of the new Africa Sustainable Commodity Initiative (ASCI) during the COP27 in Egypt,” it, said.
ASCI is a single set of principles for the responsible production of agricultural commodities in Africa; protecting forests, good governance, and transparency, while ensuring social benefits for farmers, communities, marginalised people and safeguarding their human rights.
The ASCI puts producer countries in Africa at the forefront of defining the principles for the sustainable development of cocoa, rubber, palm oil, coffee and other commodities, in a way that protects livelihoods and natural resources.”
There is growing demand for palm oil and the production had to be done in a responsible manner to contribute to improve food security and better livelihoods for millions of Africans, while protecting West and Central Africa’s remaining rainforests.
Proforest said globally 1.6 billion people depended on forests for their jobs and livelihoods, while in many African countries between 50 and 60 per cent of the population work in agriculture.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE