Women in Palm Kernel oil business appeal for support

Women in palm kernel oil producing business in Koforidua have appealed to the Government for support in the areas of loan as a business start-up facility, shelter, and modern equipment to enhance their business.

Currently, the more than 60 women involved in the palm kernel production business at Magazine, the industrial hub of Koforidua, are operating under appalling conditions that threaten their health and sustenance of their business.

On daily basis these women operate in the open to the vagaries of the weather and have to suspend business anytime it rains, sometimes for days, destroying their raw materials in the process.

This came to light when the Ghana News Agency visited the production site to interact with the women as part of highlighting issues of women in business in the Eastern Region to attract the needed support from the authorities for economic empowerment.

Madam Afua Mamprusi, a leader at the production site, told the GNA that the heat under which the palm kernel was cooked as part of the process in getting the oil often resulted in health complications including dizziness, chest pains, coughs and general body weakness.

Considering the nature of their work and producing for human consumption, one would have taught that sanitation and hygiene issues would be paramount, yet, there are no toilet facilities for these women who are often joined by their children and have to walk a distance to access a public toilet.

Madam Mamprusi said, the women have spent about 10 to 40 years in the business, which has been a source of livelihood for them to take care of their families.

She said, despite the long years their income was nothing to write home about adding that it had been from “hand to mouth.”

She said, water is another challenge, and that they have to trek long distances to nearby communities to fetch water, which is a basic requirement for their business.

 Madam Mamprusi said the women are “squatters” as the site belonged to the grinding machine owners and so anytime the owners decided to fold up the women would have no option than to move out. 

She appealed for a permanent location with modern equipment and loan facility to boost their businesses and employ more women.

Source: GNA

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