|OLAM Initiates Projects In 52 Communities|
|Tuesday, 04 September 2012 10:23|
OLAM Ghana Limited, a leading licensed cocoa buying company (LBC), is undertaking a cocoa sustainability project in 52 communities across five cocoa regions in the country.
The regions are Ashanti, BrongAhafo, Eastern, Western and Central.
Under the project, farmers would be provided with training and logistics to improve farm yields without having negative consequences on the environment.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic after the closing of the national managers conference of OLAM Ghana Limited (OGL) in Kumasi, the LBC head of OGL, Mr Eric AsareBotwe, said the company was determined to adopt measures that would improve its image and that of Ghana’s cocoa industry.
He added that cocoa farmers deserved better and promised that Olam would never deviate from the path it had taken in that respect.
Currently, he said, two major cocoa sustainability projects were underway in forest fringe communities around the Bia forest in the Western Region and the Kakum National Park in the Central Region.
The Bia project, which is being undertaken by Olam International in conjunction with New-York based certifying group, Rainforest Alliance, involves $1 million over a three-year period to support about 3,000 farmers while the Kakum project, driven by Olam Ghana Limited, will support 800 farmers for over two years.
The farmers engaged in the project receive education on sustainable cocoa production to improve yield while protection the adjoining forests.
Earlier in his speech at the closing ceremony of the managers’ conference, which was on the theme’Consolidate to leap’, Mr Botwe said in spite of “some challenges” in their operations this year, they hoped to make a great impact in the cocoa industry at the end of the season.
The Profit Centre Head of Olam Ghana Limited, Mr GurinderGoindi Singh, challenged managers of the company to play their roles effectively to help drive their operations to achieve more successes.
He promised that the company would continue to undertake farmer-friendly initiatives since farmers occupied a very important place in their overall operations.
In a speech read on his behalf by Mr Ambrose Kwame Awiti of the Research Department of COCOBOD, the Deputy Chief Executive (operations) of the board, Mr Asante Opoku, commended Olam Ghana Limited for supplying quality cocoa beans for the international market, saying given the international recognition of Olam, there is the need for the company to avoid mistakes that can work against their image.
He noted the competitive terrain in cocoa purchasing in Ghana and said no company could afford to play to the gallery.
The Ashanti Regional manager of Quality Control Company (QCC), Mr J. Essien, entreated LBC’s to cooperative with quality control officers in their efforts to improve the quality of Ghana’s cocoa.
He gave an assurance that the needed assistance would be given to the company to enable them deliver the best for the industry.