A Climate Resilient Oil Palm Project (CROPP) in Ghana is targeting 1,000 hectares of land to plant oil palm and agro forestry trees in five years.
The CROPP is part of Anglogold Ashanti Ghana’s agricultural development programme, which aims to contribute to the diversification of the local economy and afforestation.
The project, launched in 2021 in collaboration with Solidaridad West Africa, is to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation through local economic development.
It is also expected to enhance the livelihoods of beneficiaries in four municipal and district assemblies – Obuasi Municipal, Obuasi East District, Amansie Central and Adansi South Districts.
Agriculture extension Officers are being exposed to the use of digital tools for monitoring and reporting best management practices towards the implementation of the CROPP.
Economic Development Superintendent of AGA Obuasi Mine, Daniel Arthur-Bentum, said the training would help the extension officers to be able to support farmers adopt the best management practices and to better monitor plantations to achieve the carbon capture target.
“Our analyses have shown that farmers do not adopt the best management practices hence are not able to optimise what they need to be able to get good yields. We are optimistic that with the knowledge acquired from this training programme, our Extension Officers will be able to train the farmers on the field, adopt their farms and make them better off,” he said.
Mr. Arthur-Bentum emphasised the role of monitoring in achieving the goals of the CROPP.
He said measuring efforts is important to know the yields of farmers and be able to know how their works contribute to climate resilient activities or carbon capture.
This, he said, feeds into the reason why the extension officers were taken through training in digital reporting and monitoring.
CROPP to reclaim lands for oil palm plantation
Lands in the Adansi enclave in the Ashanti region are climate vulnerable due to the activities of illegal miners.
For this reason, Anglogold Ashanti plans to leverage on the Climate Resilient Oil Palm Project to reclaim those lands and use them for economic purposes by planting oil palm.
Senior Programme Officer of Solidaridad West Africa, Paa Kwesi Forson, said building the capacity of the extension officers is critical to enable them better relate, interact and inform the oil palm farmers.
He added that the training would also empower beneficiaries to provide practical solutions to the farmers.
Lack of resources and capacity training are key challenges facing Agricultural extension officers in Ghana.
Mr. Forson said Solidaridad is working with Anglogold Ashanti to provide farmers with the resources and requisite training to help their work.
The agric officers lauded AGA and Solidaridad for the training opportunity.
They believe the acquired knowledge and skills will help promote best managerial practices in oil palm production which also ties into the government’s Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme.
By Kofi Adu Domfeh