Oil palm processors commend JICA
Four oil palm processing groups in the Ashanti Region have commended the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for initiating a training programme to enhance their operations.
The training had not only helped to increase their output and improve on the quality of their products but had also significantly raised the demand for their products, both locally and internationally.
Speaking at a follow-up workshop on “oil palm process improvement project” for stakeholders in Kumasi on Wednesday, leaders of the groups took turns to praise JICA for the assistance and said it had boosted their incomes and living conditions.
The groups are from Afotom in the Offinso North District, Pease in the Bosomtwe District, Antoakrom in the Amansie West and Ntenanko in the Bekwai Municipality.
The Oil Palm Process Improvement Project (KAIZEN) is funded by JICA as part of its local industries development programme and implemented under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The success story of the groups has encouraged JICA to extend the training programme to five other processing groups in the Ashanti region.
Leaders of the groups told participants at the workshop that customers now compete vigorously to get supplies.
While some local companies and institutions have signed contracts with them for periodic supply of palm oil, some foreign customers have even gone to the extent of buying for them trucks and storage facilities.
They, however, said inadequate palm fruits and funds to expand their factories were preventing them from meeting the demands of their customers.
They appealed to JICA to assist them get credit facilities to expand their factories and buy more fruits for processing to meet the ever increasing demand.
Nana Adwoa Asiam, Programme Officer, JICA, said the organization was highly impressed with the performance of the groups.
She appealed to the government to take advantage of the positive impact of the training programme and replicate it in other oil palm growing areas in the country to benefit more people and reduce poverty.