The Oil Palm Development Association of Ghana, OPDAG, has launched a strategic plan which spans from this year (2020) to 2024 as the association seeks to improve its governance and administrative structure as well as funding.
The strategic plan which is themed, "Creating a Socially Responsible, Ecologically Sustainable and an Economically Vibrant and Inclusive Oil Palm Industry in Ghana," is also meant to establish auditable financial management system.
The president of OPDAG, Mr Samuel Avaala, said the plan was informed by the various stakeholders in 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.
According to Mr Ayaala, the Association has experienced a lot of successes and resolved many challenges since its relaunch in 2015. The need to develop and implement a strategic plan to serve as a blueprint for the development of the sector became necessary in order to sustain the gains made while tackling the challenges identified.
"The findings helped in identifying the critical issues and factors upon which this five-year strategic plan was developed," he added.
What are some of the strategies the association plans to use?
The OPDAG President stated that the strategic plan would help to 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 strategies 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 the introduction of Best Management Practices and improved processing technology.
He revealed that 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 Strikker, the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, urged them to take the initiative very seriously in order to “develop an oil palm industry in Ghana without the social and environmental challenges we have witnessed in other parts of the world."
He also 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.