Orange Farmers Expresses Optimism As A Go To “OGA” Is Launched
The Orange Growers Association (OGA) launched its eastern regional chapter at Akim Aperade in the Achiase district to enhance quality farming and provide a profitable and readily available market for orange farmers in the country.
OGA was instituted a few years ago with the sole objective to assist farmers with technical knowledge and up to date farming techniques to ensure rich yield and direct access to off takers who will purchase their oranges at competitive prices to prevent losses after harvest. This initiative came about when Eastfield farms, the largest orange farm in Ghana with 1500 acres of purely organic grown oranges, and it’s advisory board met to deliberate on how to boost and promote organic orange farming and make oranges the most sought after fruit in Ghana and West Africa.
The president for Orange Growers Association, Nana Yaw Baffour Frimpong, at the launch called on orange farmers and potential farmers with the interest of cultivating oranges to join the association in order to access all the benefits available to members.
He stated further that not only will members of the association get technical knowledge on orange farming and marketing, they will also receive financial support from government through the Ministry of Agriculture and private institutions like ANKAA Tropical Oranges Ltd, Sono-Pinora, ABSA and among others.
Professor Godfred K. Ofosu-Budu, a Crop Scientist/Citrus expert from the University of Ghana speaking as a special guest during the launch advised orange farmers to adopt the right agronomical practices used in growing oranges such as regular pruning, weeding in order to get sweet and healthy oranges for their off takers.
He added that although there are no avenues from government to assist or provide support for graduates who have the zeal to become industrious entrepreneurs in the country, if graduates could venture into orange farming, they would find it to be a very successful venture and an avenue to employ others.
The Country Director of Eco Index Agro Solutions Limited the suppliers of Begreen- F Organic Liquid Fertilizer , who are the main suppliers of fertilisers to Eastfield farms were excited about the prospects of working with the association and assisting farmers produce oranges fortified with their organic fertilizers. He stated that the world is now moving towards more organic ways of growing produce to help lower the risk of environmental pollution and produce greenhouse gas emissions. The use of organic fertiliser boosts soil and plant health naturally, balances the soil and goes a long way to protect the environment.
They expressed their unwavering support to all members of the association and pledged to start a program to educate the farmers on the effective ways to use their products and also provide fertilizers to association members at extremely subsidised rates.
ANKAA Tropical Oranges Ltd, the main off-takers of Eastfield farms presented a brand new farm tractor with its complete accessories and a boom sprayer to Eastfield Farms Ltd to help increase its yield since they have been thier main off taker for the past 2 years. They also made a pledge to only off-take oranges from OGA members.
The CEO of Sono-Pinora, one of the largest Citrus processing plants in Ghana located in Asamankese, was highly impressed with the initiative and expressed relief as the formation of the association makes it easier to contact orange farmers ,get their produce directly and guarantee the produce is grown organically. He pledged to ensure that once oranges are supplied, payment will be made to the association on time to encourage farmers and strengthen a lasting relationship between the company and OGA. He also pledged Sono- Pinora’s full support to the association.
The Ceo of Eastfield Farms in his vote of thanks said the tractor will go a long way to boost their yield and expressed immense gratitude to ANKAA for their support. He also mentioned that because he is a member of the association he will make the farm tractor accessable to the association so other members in need of tractors can get access to it as a benefit of being a member.
He thanked all invited guests for honouring the invitation. He also thanked Aseda Industries who supported the event with 300 packs of Aqua blue mineral water and 200 packs of assorted drinks.
Eastfield foundation also supported by covering 10% off the price of a pack of Aqua blue mineral water for OGA members and pledged to work with the association to provide scholarships, health insurance packages and embark on projects that will benefit members of OGA and their communities.
The occasion was graced with the presence of Nana Owusu Gyanpim (Anantanhene Akim-Aperade) , Representatives from Ministry of Agriculture,Representatives of the District Assembly, Mr. Malcolm Senanu (CEO ANKAA Tropical Oranges), Mr. Richard Minnaar (CEO of Sono-Pinora) , Mr. Nimo Ahinkorah (Owner of Nimo Ahinkorah farms), Mr. David Adom (Owner of Adom farms), Mr Hasford (Owner of Hasford farms), Mr.Papa Yaw Ntiforo (CEO of Eastfield farms), Mr Daniel Baisie Jr. (Country Director Eco Index Agro Solutions Limited ), over 400 members of OGA and new registrants, Agric students and teachers from Attafuah Secondary Technical School and Achiase Secondary School , staff of ABSA bank (Oda) and MTN representatives (Oda).
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