The three coconut growing districts in the Western Region have expressed their determination to support the establishment of a local oil market within the districts.
The three districts assemblies, namely Ellembelle, Jomoro and Nzema East have pledged to support the coconut oil processors and marketers to have a common place for sale of coconut oil to improve the profitability of the business and enhance the local economy as well as create employment avenues for the people in the area.
Addressing a stakeholder’s forum organised by the Nzema Coconut Oil Processors and Marketers Association in Nkroful on Saturday, the District Chief Executive for Ellembelle, Mr Daniel k. Eshun, gave the assurance that the assemblies would support the establishment of the proposed coconut oil market.
The theme for the forum was,”Support to Enhance Coconut Oil Marketing through Establishment of a Local market.”
It was funded by the BUSAC fund, USAID, International development Cooperation and DANIDA.
Mr Eshun said a local market would be a suitable centre for Essiama Oil Mills and other oil industries to get raw materials for the work and charged the network of oil processors and marketers in the three districts to come to a consensus on a common market place for sale of the product.
The DCE noted that the Government of Ghana in collaboration with Zoomlion-Ghana had been nursing hybrid coconut seedlings for supply to coconut farmers for cultivation.
He said the seedlings were highly resistant to the deadly Saint Paul Coconut disease which had plagued the coconut industry for some time.
The Chairman of Nzeman Coconut Processors and Marketing Association, Mr John Nat Awoin, said that a common market for them would give them a strong bargaining power and help curb the highway robbery cases suffered by the women who transport the products for sale in other regions.
He said it would also create an avenue for the three district assemblies to collect tolls and levies from them and use the proceeds for developmental projects.
Mr Awoin commended BUSAC fund and Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry for training them on proper record keeping and sensitisation programmes to enhance their capacity in managing their businesses and appealed to the chiefs in the area to release land for the market.
The participants at the stakeholder’s forum proposed either Ayisakro in the Nzeman East or Essiama in the Ellembelle for the new market.