Smallholder Development Plan
Most of the 500 have been field-audited and we are currently buying fruit from over 250 outgrowers. These farmers planted palms as part of Ghana’s President’s Special Initiative on Oil Palm Plantings. Through this initiative, the Government of Ghana assisted smallholder farmers in planting oil palms in an effort to promote economic development and to reduce Ghana’s dependence on imports.The Government directive also promised to ensure commercial scale oil palm mills would be accessible to all smallholders nationwide. This part of the directive was not fully implemented in Volta Region leaving farmers without access to a commercial mill. Therefore, all FFB beyond the amount local manual small-scale millers could process, has been wasted.
In response to this problem Volta Red built a small mill capable of processing 1 tonne of FFB per hour in Kadjebi district, with the objective of developing a thriving and successful outgrower scheme. The mill was commissioned in March 2013 and reached capacity within a year and has now been expanded to 2 tonnes per hour capability.
With support from Solidaridad
Solidaridad have introduced Best Management Practice (BMP) to oil palm outgrowers in Ghana teaching them how to increase yields by managing their farms in a consistent and structured way. The programme has been running for two years and there have been some spectacular successes, with some individual outgrowers experiencing yield increases to over 6 tonnes per hectare and in one case 15 tonnes per hectare.
Until recently Solidaridad has not carried out any work with outgrowers in Volta Region because there were no commercial oil palm operations to provide markets for outgrowers selling their fruit. Volta Red’s new mill has solved this problem and we are now working with Solidaridad to ensure that outgrowers in Volta Region will also benefit from the programme. Volta Red and Solidaridad held their first outgrower training day in November 2014 which was attended by eleven outgrowers. The training session was led by Solidaridad with support from Volta Red’s Outgrower Development Officer. Click on the image to view a copy of the training day report in a new window.
Under Solidaridad’s guidance we have published a poster laying out the most important principals of BMP, which when implemented, increase yields significantly. Click on the image to open the poster in a new window.
Volta Red, Solidaridad and AgDevCo
Long term development plan
Solidaridad is being advised on the ground by the agronomist Thomas Fairhurst who is also retained by Volta Red to advise on the development of company-owned nucleus plantations.