Palm Oil – a major economic and social opportunity for Ghana
Undoubtedly Ghana has the potential to not only meet its own domestic demand, but also to become a substantial exporter in the future. This potential was recognised by government who in 2003 implemented the President’s Special Initiative in Oil Palm (PSI-Oil). This programme was launched to help smallholders to become more productive and generate greater returns. The Government distributed more than 3 million hybrid seedlings throughout the country which is equivalent to 20,000 hectares of palm oil plantation. The initiative encouraged smallholders to adopt improved planting and husbandry technologies, to commercialise their production and to link them to modern processing mills.
The Nkwanta South and Kadjebi districts of Volta Region where our activities are centred are some of the more remote and economically disadvantaged in Ghana. Over 80% of the economically active population are employed in agriculture, most on a subsistence basis. There is no major industrial activity located in the region and unemployment levels are high and most of the youth migrate to Accra in search of jobs.
Volta Red’s developments have brought significant economic benefits to this economically challenged part of Ghana. Volta Red is the largest employer in the region, which has historically lacked formal employment opportunities. Our wages are among the industry’s highest in the whole country while the company has 400 employees, nearly half of whom are female.