The aim of the Climate Resilient Oil Palm Project (CROPP) is to ensure that all vulnerable lands were reclaimed and used for economic purposes by planting oil palms and other cash crops on them.
Mr Daniel Arthur-Bentum, the Economic Development Superintendent of AngloGold Ashanti, told newsmen at Obuasi in the Ashanti Region that the Mine was leveraging on the CROPP to restore the lands back to agricultural use.
He was speaking on the sidelines of a three-day training programme on best oil palm management practices and the use of digital tools for monitoring and reporting for extension officers from the five beneficiary districts in the Adansi enclave at Obuasi.
The training, which was done in collaboration with Solidaridad West Africa, was part of the preparation for the implementation of the CROPP in the area.
Mr Arthur-Bentum said the CROPP formed part of AngloGold Ashanti’s agricultural development programme, which aimed at contributing to the diversification of the local economy and afforestation in its catchment area.
The CROP Project was launched in 2021 in collaboration with Solidaridad West Africa to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation through local economic development. It is also expected to enhance the livelihoods of the people in the beneficiary districts.
The project targets 1000 hectares of land in its first phase of five years to plant oil palm and other agroforestry trees.
The training would help the extension officers to support farmers to adopt best farm management practices and also look at how best to monitor them to achieve the climate capture targets.
“Our analysis has shown that farmers do not adopt the best farm management practices, hence are not able to optimise what they need to be able to get good yields,” Mr Arthur-Bentum said.
“We are optimistic that with the knowledge acquired from this training programme, our extension officers will be able to train the farmers on the field, adopt their farms and make them better off.”
He emphasised that monitoring played a very important role in achieving the goals of the CROPP, which helped in knowing the yields of farmers and how their works contributed to climate-resilient activities.
Mr Paa Kwesi Forson, Senior Programme Officer at Solidaridad West Africa, said the training would help build the capacity of the extension officers to relate, interact and better inform the oil palm farmers in their respective districts.
He said Solidaridad was working closely with AngloGold Ashanti to provide farmers with the resources and requisite training to enhance their work
Mr Prudence Owusu Mensah and Raphael Atta Preprah, both agricultural extension officers, from the Obuasi East and Obuasi Municipal Assemblies, respectively, lauded AGA and Solidaridad for the training opportunity.
They said it had helped them to acquire knowledge on best managerial practices in oil palm production, which also tied into the Government’s Planting for Export and Rural Development initiative.