by Mildred Siabi-Mensah, GNA
Coconut farmers in Western and Central regions have signed an agreement with GKV Investment, a private coconut processor, for technical support to increase production and supply to feed the company.
The coconut processing company based in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis has also inaugurated “GKV-SNV Hortifresh Coconut Innovation Platform" for Coconut farmers in the two regions to churn out quality yields and boost supply.
Mr. Emmanuel Andoh-Mensah, the Acting Director of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) - Oil Palm Research Institute (OPRI) of the Kade office in the Eastern region has said.
Speaking during the inaugural ceremony of the GKV-SNV Hortifresh Coconut Innovation Platform, he said the company decided to mount the innovation platform to assist farmers with relevant technical support to maximize coconut production for mutual benefit.
The current yield of the crop for most farmers is pegged between 1000 and 2000 nuts for the West African Tall breed and between 2000 and 3000 nuts for the Hybrid.
But, Mr Ando-Mensah said, with proper agronomical practices, the West African Tall could yield 5000 plus, while the Hybrid could surge by 8,000 plus nuts.
He said heaps of researched and documented information on the coconut plant were readily available and encouraged farmers to constantly engage the Centre for support during their farming activities.
Mr Kojo Nunoo, the Managing Director of GKV Investment, described coconut oil as premium deemed suitable to meet all health needs, particularly people with diabetes, and encouraged Ghanaians to cultivate the habit of consuming the oil.
He said to have regular supply of the nuts for production of the “essential oil,” the company together with its partner, SNV-Hortifresh, initiated the project to increase production among 50 selected farmers from 29 towns.
Under the agreement reached with the parties, participant farmers would become partners in transforming coconut business in their respective communities towards increased productivity and enhanced economic life.