Golden Star Oil Palm Plantation (GSOPP), an alternative livelihood project of Golden Star resources, now a member of the Chifeng Gold Group has chalked a remarkable feat by completing processes, trainings and audits for its smallholder farmers to become certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm oil (RSPO).
The first of its kind in Ghana and second in Africa, this highly coveted certification means that GSOPP smallholder farmers are equipped with best management practices to improve their yields and produce oil palm sustainably and safely according to globally accepted standards.
The RSPO was established to promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil products through global standards and multi – stakeholder governance.
GSOPP achieved this milestone with support from Solidaridad and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).
These organisations took GSOPP farmers through trainings to broaden their scope on oil palm best management practices, sustainable group management, business planning, environmental protection, safe working relationships and continuous improvement.
Commenting on the certification Mr Shaddrack Adjetey Sowah, VP and Managing Director of Golden Star Wassa Ltd explained “we are extremely proud of the GSOPP team for committing to the rigorous requirements of RSPO to gain this certification. As we have indicated since the acquisition of Golden Star in January 2022, ESG is our focus, and certification such as this prove our commitment to the business, our communities and our stakeholders”
The Golden Star Oil Palm Plantation (GSOPP) was established in April 2006 as a non-profit subsidiary of Golden Star. GSOPP, in partnership with the traditional authorities, and affected farmers, with the support of the agro-forestry industry, promotes the development of oil palm plantations amongst Golden Star’s catchment communities, using the smallholder concept.
Through GSOPP, Golden Star Resources continue to advance the business objective of reducing poverty through employment generation, and promoting wealth creation through sustainable agri-business.
Funded by Golden Star through US$1 per ounce of gold produced, to date over $9.6million has been directed to this important initiative.
The impact of the project is reflected in Royal Gold’s commitment to provide financial support for the activities of GSOPP through an annual contribution of $150,000 over five years.
Impact is also felt in the number of beneficiaries involved in GSOPP, as at June 2022 GSOPP directly employs over 500 contract workers and farmers within the Wassa catchment.
For Production, GSOPP yields 18 tonnes of fresh fruit bunches per hectare, compared to a National average of 6 tonnes per hectare.