Oil Palm Development Association of Ghana (OPDAG)
OPDAG, is a private sector, Non Governmental association formed to help address the challenges facing the oil palm sector in Ghana,OPDAG intends to increase competitiveness by strengthening coordination whilst improving management practices, market linkages and fair trade amongst key value chain actors in Ghana's Oil Palm industry. The Association was launched in 2015 by the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Hon Fiifi Kwetey and Hon. Dr Ekow Spio Garbrah Minister of Trade and industry.
The association comprises of relevant stakeholders and value chain actors in Ghana’s oil palm industry – small, medium to large scale growers and processors, refiners, manufacturers, marketers, input suppliers and distributors along the supply chain. These business account for more than 240,000 jobs in the economy.
MAIN OBJECTIVES OF OPDAG:
Background of Oil Palm Production in Ghana
Oil Palm in Ghana became a commercial crop at the beginning of the 19th Century. Originally the sector was based on wild palm harvesting and from 1850 onwards oil palm evolved to an agricultural crop that was cultivated either in small farms or in plantations. This led to palm oil becoming the principal export commodity in the 19th Century and accounting for 75% of Ghana’s export volumes back then. However, in the 20th Century, a lot has changed. Presently, Ghana has over 350,000 hectares of oil palm planted and a production of over 240,000 tons of palm oil. Currently Ghana has unmet demand of over 100,000 tons of palm oil annually which is imported.
In view of this situation, the government has put in place several interventions to support of Development Partners to re-launch and develop the palm oil sector to boost productivity and increase production. Some of the interventions include;
3,000 hectares out-grower project with funding from the Agence Francaise de Development (AFD)
Expansion of seed nuts production capacity of Oil Palm and Coconut Research Institute (OPRI) from 2 million to 5 million seed nuts per year under a World Bank sponsored project
Cultivation of over 10,000 hectares small-scale farms under a Presidential Special Initiative (PSI) on oil palm and
Development of an Oil Palm Master Plan for Ghana with support from AFD, amongst others.
CHALLENGES FACING THE SECTOR.