Artisanal Palm Oil Millers And FDA Collaborate To Improve Palm Oil Production

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In a bid to promote high-quality oil palm production in the country, Artisanal Palm Oil Millers and Outgrowers Association of Ghana, a Non-governmental Organization, in partnership with Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), will train palm oil producers in the first quarter of 2022.

The effort, expected to enhance market access for workers in the palm oil value chain in producing districts, would also ensure that finished products meet both local and international market standards.

Under the partnership, Artisanal Palm Oil Millers, and FDA, would train many artisanal mill owners and over 3,000 machinery fabricators and processors, to promote high-quality food safety standards among artisanal palm oil producers.

 Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) officers would be strengthened, monitor and enforce standards in the preparation and sale of palm oil.

A release issued by Mr.Paul-Kwabena-Amaning, President of Artisanal Palm Oil Millers and Outgrowers Association of Ghana and copied to Kingdom FM on Wednesday said the FDA was statutorily mandated to work with the Association to monitor and enforce standards for the preparation and sale of food products in the country.

 Artisanal Palm Oil Millers, on the other hand, through its Sustainable West Africa Palm Oil Programme, had been working to transform the oil palm sector in the country by promoting best management and milling practices.

Therefore  Artisanal Palm Oil Millers and Outgrowers Association of Ghana ‘s deployment of field officers in palm oil-producing districts would make up for the FDA’s lack of offices at the district level that had hitherto, made it difficult for the authority to reach palm oil processors in the districts.

The release explained that under the partnership, a training programme, on food safety and good manufacturing practices in the palm oil production process would be held for workers in the value chain.

It would cover topics such as hygienic sterilization and digestion of the palm fruits, identifying food safety hazards during processing, the use of potable water for palm oil processing, waste handling, test management techniques, cleaning and siting of milling equipment, and personal hygiene of workers at the mills, among others.

The effort would build on one day training program that Artisanal Palm Oil Millers and Outgrowers Association of Ghana and the FDA recently organized at Ministry of Trade Conference room on Thursday 17th March,2022  in the Greater Accra Region.

The first training for members on packaging of palm oil products was done at Twifo Hemang in September last year. Same is expected to be replicated in all palm oil production communities with technical support from FDA.

The release quoted President of Artisanal Palm Oil Millers and Outgrowers Association of Ghana, Mr.Paul-Kwabena-Amaning, saying that a substantial part of Ghana’s palm oil imports could be sourced locally from artisanal palm oil producers if they met the quality requirements of both industrial users and palm oil exporters.

The Artisanal Palm Oil Millers and Outgrowers Association of Ghana is now soliciting for financial support from companies that will enhance the oil palm industry, food safety and export to support this packaging training program to improve the oil palm industry.

The requirements, he said, included palm oil with low free fatty acid below five per cent, low rancidity (having the right taste, smell and colour), and had no physical, biological or chemical contaminants.

“Our expectation is that our two organizations would pull resources together to support artisanal palm oil producers to meet these requirements,” he said.

He further stressed that, is also quoted as saying that his organisation was pleased with the partnership, and expressed the hope that the collaboration would equip artisanal oil palm producers to process safe and quality products.

He added that food hygiene and safety should be a core element of all food preparation processes, including palm oil, hence the need for processors to obtain and regularly update their knowledge in food safety and good manufacturing practices.

The programme seeks to contribute to the transformation of the oil palm sector in Ghana, increase incomes of smallholder farmers and processors, and generate economic growth and jobs thus to build sustainable production for oil palm and other commodities.

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