- Ghana’s first international commercial trade in oil palm took place in 1820. Starting from the wild palm harvesting, oil palm evolved into an agricultural crop and plantations were established by 1850.
- This led to palm oil becoming the principal export from the then Gold Coast.
- By the 1880s, palm oil accounted for 75% of the Country’s export revenue.
- Malaysia which is currently dominating the world palm oil market started the establishment of oil palm plantations with planting materials from Ghana.
- Ghana currently has a total of 305,758ha of oil palm.
- More than 80% of this is cultivated by private small-scale farmers.
- It is estimated that 243,852tons of palm oil is being produced.
- Ghana currently has an unmet demand of 35,000tons of palm oil.
- The estimated unmet demand in the ECOWAS sub-region is 850,000tons.
AREAS SUITABLE FOR OIL PALM PLANTATIONS
- The total area suitable for oil palm cultivation is one million hectares.
- The suitable areas are in the:
- Western Region
- Central Region
- Ashanti Region
- Volta Region
- Brong Ahafo Region
- There is a wide variation in the productivity of oil palm in Ghana.
- The highest productivity of 20tons/ha have been recorded by plantations in valley bottoms.
- The large estates achieve productivity levels of between 10 – 15tons/ha.
- Smallholders and outgrowers produce between 7 – 10tons/ha while private small-scale farms produce about 3tons/ha.
MAJOR OIL PALM COMPANIES AND AREAS CULTIVATED
|MILLING CAPACITY (TONS/HOUR)|
Ghana Oil Palm Development Company Ltd.
Twifo Oil Palm Plantations Ltd.
Benso Oil Palm Plantations Ltd.
|NORPALM GH. LTD.||4000||–||4000||30|
|JUABIN OIL MILLS||424||1,100||1,524||15|
|AYIEM OIL MILLS||250||–||250||10|
(A mining company)
- Oil Palm Research Institute (OPRI) is the only institution fully dedicated to research into oil palm.
- It is also the only institution that produces seed nuts in the country.
- It currently has the capacity to produce 5million nuts per year.
RECENT MAJOR GOVERNMENT INTERVENTIONS
- 3,000ha outgrower project currently ongoing in the Upper & Lower Denkyira Districts. An amount of 6.62m Euros was secured by the Government from Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD).
- Expansion of the seednuts production capacity of OPRI from 2 million to 5 million seednuts per year under the World Bank sponsored Agriculture Services Sub-Sector Investment Programme (AgSSIP).
- Cultivation of over 20,000ha small-scale farms under the President’s Special Initiative (PSI) on oil palm.
UPCOMING GOVERNMENT INTERVENTIONS
- Development of a master plan for the oil palm sector. Government secured funds from AFD.
- Development of policy, strategy & implementation manuals for tree crops. Government secured funds from AFD.