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After distributing 30,000 high yielding oil palm seedlings to farmers in 2023, mining giants AngloGold Ashanti has once again distributed  60,000 more oil palm seedlings to farmers in 6 districts in the Ashanti Region.

The idea to distribute oil palm seedlings to farmers feeds into plans by AngloGold Ashanti  to improve the livelihoods of farmers through oil palm production by 2026, while contributing to the country’s deforestation mitigation targets through agro forestry by the same year.

Christened the Climate Resilience Oil Palm Plantation (CROPP), the project is a collaboration between AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine and  Solidaridad West Africa and rolled out in  six districts within the Adansi Traditional Area namely; Obuasi Municipal, Obuasi East District, Adansi North and South, Adansi Asokwa and Adansi Akrofuom District Assemblies.

Worrying state of degraded lands

According to the Economic Development Superintendent of AngloGold Ashanti, Daniel Arthur- Bentum, most arable lands in the Adansi enclave have been significantly depleted as a result of illegal mining.

This he said has caused rising temperatures, increased inconsistencies in rainfall patterns, reduced suitable areas for farming, and reduced farm yield, which has adversely affected livelihoods.

He said the CROPP initiative is a demonstration of AGA’s commitment to promoting sustainable development and addressing the challenges posed by climate change.

To achieve this, Mr. Arthur-Bentum said “since we launched season one of the CROPP initiative in 2023, our strategy has been to support existing oil palm farmers in the six local Assemblies to adopt climate smart practices through capacity building and technical support”.

He added that they work in close collaboration with traditional leaders and local authorities to identify and convert degraded lands into oil palm agro-forestry block farms and facilitate the setup of an oil palm nursery to supply climate resilient seedlings to farmers.

The economic benefits of the CROPP

The initiative is expected to improve the economic livelihoods of the beneficiary farmers who have formed cooperatives.

The money generated from the oil palm will be reinvested to keep the programme rolling.

This according to the Economic Development Superintendent will need the commitment of the farmers.

He said “by harnessing the power of agriculture and forestry, we are not only creating economic opportunities for our communities but also making significant strides towards building a more resilient and sustainable future”.

Stakeholders involvement

According to the Chief Executive of the Obuasi Municipal Assembly, Elijah Adansi-Bonah, the CROPP project in sync with government’s flagship programme Planting for Exports and Rural Development (PERD) which has seen the distribution of almost one million oil palm seedlings in Obuasi.

He commended AGA for their bold policies which are geared towards contributing to the development of Obuasi and neighbouring districts.

The Obuasi MCE stressed that investment in oil palm seedlings in Obuasi will aid the establishment of oil palm processing factory which will have no issues with availability of raw materials.

Amanehene of the Eduabiase Traditional Council Nana Osei Kwame, who represented the Edubiasehene, commended AngloGold Ashanti for their projects and programmes highlighted in their 10-year Socioeconomic Development Plan.

He said the plan to reclaim destroyed lands was laudable, urging farmers in the beneficiary districts to take full advantage.

Aboagye Ohene Adu, a farmer in the Obuasi Municipality, added his voice to the need for farmers to leverage on the CROPP programme to improve their livelihoods and contribute to afforestation.