Palm kernel oil producers cry for factory and market
The Palm Kernel Oil Producers Association (PKOPA) branch at the Anwiankwanta in the Amansie East District in the Ashanti Region, has appealed for increased support from government to penetrate the international market.
Date Created : 1/8/2019 3:44:14 AM : Story Author : William Dei-Gyau/Ghanadistricts.com
Palm Kernel Oil which is believed to be the key ingredient in the ice cream and soap making industries is yet to receive policy attention to promote and improve the sector.
Many women engaged in the trade, are virtually losing out due to the lack of factory, ready market, lack of access to cracking machines and other equipment to enhance production.
A visit by Asona Dehyi? Kwateng to the production site of the women manufacturers showed a worrying business environment as the women performed their trade at the mercy of the weather.
According to them, on one of occasion, rain totally destroyed their mud oven provided by a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to curtail the incessant smoke associated with open tripod and firewood burning.
They added that despite all the difficulties they had to endure in producing the palm kernel oil even though local businessmen and women who bought the oil on credit had been defaulting in the payment.
They also complained that patronage of the oil in large quantities continued to be a major challenge.
"We are lacking bulk buyer to patronage our produce and this has not been helpful to our finances" a woman fumed.
“We still have oil sitting here after years of production, the people who buy do so on credit and lock up our monies for years before paying even by instalment” another woman laments.
The women after travelling long distances to buy the kernel are confronted with another difficulty which is the lack of machinery to aid easy and faster production.
According to the Chairman of the Association Mr Frimpong Ebenezer, "the strenuous activities, the cracking of the kernel through to milling and final extraction of oil is affecting our health".
"This activities has caused most of our members to contract respiratory problems, waist and back pains meanwhile we have an abandoned factory which has for the past five years been left to rot with its heavy machines, it only needs rehabilitation and we can make good use of it but our efforts has proven futile" he opined.
The Chairman again urged government to prioritize their operations as a source of employment by investing more resource into the production of Palm Kernel Oil to attract the teaming youth.
"As part of your One District One Factory initiative, we the Palm Kernel Oil Producers Association request that more palm kernel oil producing factories should be constructed to boost the palm kernel oil business to raise production and earn the country some good revenue as it empowered women economically" Mr. Frimpong Ebenezer appealed to government.