Gold Fields Ghana launches oil palm project at Abekoase-Tebe

Gold Fields Ghana Foundation (GFGF), on Thursday re- launched oil palm project at Abekoase-Tebe in the Prestea Huni Valley municipality of the Western Region.

The project, which is to help sustain livelihoods GFGF host communities, was aimed at distributing inputs to farmers, aside training programmes, which would cost GH¢822,000.

Beneficiaries would receive fertilisers, weedicides, pesticides, knapsack sprayers, Wellington boots and overalls.

Already, they had been supplied with 23,000 high yield Tenera seedlings, which had been cultivated.

The Regional Sustainability Manager, Gold Fields, West Africa, Mr Robert Siaw, said that  a total  of 157 farmers  out of 285 farmers , with 40 per  cent being females,  had been selected for the initiative.

He said that 17 years ago, GFGF together with host communities and Opportunities Industrialisation Centre (OICI) implemented a five- year sustainable community empowerment and economic development programme (SEED), which focused  on education, health and alternative livelihood.

However, over time, Mr Siaw noted that the few committed farmers benefitted from the oil palm project.

He said Gold Fields Foundation,  as  part  of its agriculture and food security programmes  in  host communities, invested in livestock rearing and food crop production, under  SEED with the establishment  of a 250-acre  oil  palm plantation at Awudua and Abekoase.

Mr Siaw said it also supported over 300 farmers in vegetable production under the YouHop project.

Additionally, he said some farmers were  registered under the Promprom Cooperative Credit Union to assist YouHop project farmers and all host community residents to access finance for  their activities.

Mr Siaw said “While we seek to play a role in the sustainable development of our host communicates. We remain conscious that mining operations will, eventually come to and end. Our community  investment efforts, therefore, continue to favour longer term capacity building  interventions, aimed  at creating  human capital and overcoming specific economic constraints to local economic development.”

He commended officials of Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) for supporting the project.

Director of Agriculture, Prestea-Huni Valley municipality, Mr Albert Bonney, indicated that the department had trained farmers on best agriculture management and cultural practices, to increase yield in oil palm production.



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