The Oil Palm Development Association of Ghana (OPDAG) has launched a five-year strategic plan from 2020-2024 to improve its governance and administrative structure as well as funding.
The strategic plan, on the theme: "Creating a Socially Responsible, Ecologically Sustainable and an Economically Vibrant and Inclusive Oil Palm Industry in Ghana," is also to establish auditable financial management system.
Mr Samuel Avaala, the OPDAG President, said the plan was developed through a collaboration and consensus building with veritable representatives from actors along the oil palm value chain.
"The strength, weakness, opportunities and threats of the Association and the entire oil palm sector are identified and captured in the plan," he said.
He said the Association, since it’s relaunch in 2015, had chalked a lot of successes and resolved many challenges.
He said to sustain the gains made while addressing the challenges identified, there was a need to develop and implement a strategic plan to serve as a blueprint for the development of the sector.
"The findings helped in identifying the critical issues and factors upon which this five-year strategic plan was developed," he added.
The OPDAG President said the strategic plan would improve the membership base and service delivery as well as internal and external communication.
It would also adopt and use globally recognised best practices across the value chain and policy advocacy for the good of the industry, Mr Avaala said.
He said each of the strategic pillars had its own related activities designed to contribute to the achievement of the overall objectives of the Association.
"These pillars are in tune with the changes that are occurring within the sector, particularly taking cognisance of the Sustainable Development Goals and responsible production in line with other globally recognised sustainability principles and criteria," he said.
He commended the Management of Solidarid West Africa and the Embassy of the Royal Kingdom of Netherlands for their support to the Association and the oil palm industry.
Mr Isaac Gyamfi, the Regional Director, Solidaridad West Africa, said the organisation had been in Ghana’s Oil palm landscape since 2012, promoting yield intensification at both the farm and mill levels through introduction of Best Management Practices and improved processing technology.
He said the organisation had also supported the revitalization of OPDAG and had played a role in the establishment of the Tree Crops Development Authority, all implemented under the Sustainable West Africa Oil Palm Programme.
Mr Ron Stroller, the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, urged them to take the initiative very seriously so that "we can develop an oil palm industry in Ghana without the social and environmental challenges we have witnessed in other parts of the world."
He expressed the hope that the leadership of OPDAG would facilitate information sharing and interactions between companies in the oil palm sector in Ghana and the Netherlands.