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Government asked to assist Tropical Almond Growers Association

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Government has been asked to give financial and technical support to Tropical Almond Growers Association of Ghana (TRAGAG), to increase the production of almond oil for local use and export, to generate more foreign exchange for the country.

Chairman of the Centre for Technology Driven for Economic Development (CTED), Mr Robert Wood, made the call at an advocacy training workshop for 25 members of the TRAGAG, drawn from the Kwahu area and the Afram Plains, at Kwahu-Tafo on Friday.

The event was organised by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund, the Danish International Development Agency, the United States Agency for International Development and the European Union.

Mr Wood, who is also known as crusading engineer, said that almond oil, which could supplement the country’s crude oil requirement if properly harnessed, was being sold between 10 and 12 dollars per litre on the international market.

Mr Wood said he had constructed a machine to process almond nuts into vegetable oil, and explained that the nuts have a two-and-a-half year gestation period and could yield 3,550kg per hectare as against 2,500kg palm oil per hectare.

Mr Wood said if the almond plant was cultivated on a large- scale throughout the country, it could produce 300 billion dollars of oil, 200 billion dollars of cake for the poultry and livestock industries and 12 billion dollars of energy (Biomass).

He advised farmers in the country to cultivate the tropical almond plant, also known as “abrofo nkate” in Twi, as it could be grown in all parts of Ghana and easily processed for export.

The chairman of the association, Mr Samuel Kwasi Abora, said the association had cultivated 200 acres of the plant in the Kwahu area and other parts of the country, and could supply the required seed to other interested farmers for cultivation on large-scale.

He said some foreign companies had expressed interest in the construction of a factory to process almond seeds into oil, cake and energy.

The chief of Kwahu-Tafo, Nana Ameyaw Gyensiamah III, said that he had released 50 acres of land for the cultivation of the plant.

Source: GNA

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