Annor & Associates
Sustainable Palm Oil Ghana
The production of palm oil is a cornerstone to Ghana's agricultural sector. Over 336,000 hectares of land is used for oil palm cultivation, mostly by smallhold farmers. Palm oil is a commodity under critiscm for its negative impacts on forests, wildlife, and community. The detrimental effects of palm oil demands for more sustainable agricultural practices.
Quercus Group manages the development of 4000ha sustainable palm oil plantation and the refurbishement of an old oil mill, which will be the first of its kind in Ghana. The global demand for sustainable palm oil and Ghana's geographical and economic position constitute give rise to significant market potential.
Unlike in other regions, where palm oil drives deforestation, generates large amounts of biowaste and displaces communities, the project does not convert land to palm oil production, but replants existing plantations run by smallhold farmers.
Project Period: 2018 - ongoing.
Starting Point & Challenge
Palm oil production is known for its detrimental effects on the environment, local economy and community. In Ghana, oil plam is an important crop grown predominantely by smallhold farmers. The growing demand for sustainable palm oil gives rise to Ghana's potential to position itself as a key supplier of sustainbily sourced palm oil to global value chains.
Quercus Group planned and implemented the development of the plantation from the ground-up, from setting the initial seedling and refurbishing an old mill. It brings together smallhold farmers in cooperative structures, centered around the mill. The planted crop has a higher yield per acreage, ensuring economic viability on existing planbtations, while preventing any new land use. The biowaste and oil spill is managed in a circular fashion. The project works to break down gender disparities by emphasizing the dual-gendered nature of the work on the plantation.
This project brings together the numerous oil palm industry stakeholders from both the rural communities - including smallholders and out growers - and various branches of government to develop a consensus on sustainable practices consistent with the international Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). This will give even more farmers and families in Ghana a higher income and a better life. The project is now under the President of Ghana national program “One District – one Factory” and has currently involved 250 employees in the plantation and oil mill and 400 fruit suppliers.