PERD: 1.2m oil palm seedlings distributed

Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Collins Ntim, has revealed that 1.2 million oil palm seedlings have been distributed under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme initiated by the government...


Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Collins Ntim, has revealed that 1.2 million oil palm seedlings have been distributed under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme initiated by the government.

“The programme, through the Oil Palm Research Institute (OPRI), has supplied over 1.2 million oil palm seedlings to Ghanaian farmers in 2018,” the MP for Offinso North constituency revealed at an open day event by staff of OPRI at Kusi in the Denkyembour District, to celebrate their 60th anniversary.

Delivering his speech, as a special guest of honour, on the theme: “CSIR, 60 years of research with impart for sustainable development; the role of Oil Palm Research Institute”, Mr Ntim said OPRI has maintained good faith with the PERD programme and shown greater commitment to accelerating government’s agenda towards propping up the Ghanaian rural economy through agriculture.

According to the deputy minister, OPRI receives requests from other countries for supply of planting materials to meet the growing demand for certified planting materials from OPI, and believes it is important steps are initiated to increase the capacity of the institute.

Mr Ntim again revealed that PERD’s negotiation with the Ghana Exports Promotion Authority (GEPA) is at the final stage to build and expand the institutional capacity of OPRI towards the production and supply of certified coconut seedlings.

The board chairman of OPRI, Neneyo Asare Mate-Kole said the cultivation of oil palm will provide jobs and boost the non-traditional export base for industrialisation.

He believes that with the introduction of the Planting for Export and Rural Development programme, oil palm, which used to be a leading foreign exchange earner for the country in the mid-nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century, before it got dwarfed by cocoa; will redeem its glory.

Acting Director of OPRI, Mr Andoh Mensah, said the mandate of the institute is to conduct sustainable and demand-driven research aimed at providing scientific and technological support for the development of the entire oil palm and coconut industries.

He said the institute has made a lot of stride in the last five decades in terms of technological development. Some of its achievements, he said, include being a key partner to the Presidential Special Initiative on Oil Palm in 2003 and the delivery of over 3 million oil palm fruits on time to beneficiary farmers.

Source: Ghana/ClassFMonline.com/91.3FM



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