A new set of policies expected to guide the production of palm oil is to be implemented in Ghana and other West Africa countries soon.

The guidelines cover the policy and legal framework for governing oil palm development, sustainable environmental management and socio-economic concerns, stakeholder involvement and rural livelihoods and the rights of smallholders and out-growers along the oil palm value chain.

They would also look at issues related to research and extension services, implementation of best management practices, labour rights and obligations and financing and long-term funding.

These were developed by participants at a workshop held in Accra as part of the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) 2020 Africa Palm Oil initiative, which is developing a set of high level regional principles to guide palm oil development across the region.

Proforest, which is leading the Initiative on behalf of TFA 2020, organized the Ghana National Workshop on Sustainable Palm Oil Development in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

It brought together senior representatives of the government, traditional leaders, major palm oil producing and consumer goods companies, and civil society organizations.

Proforest’s Africa Director, Abraham Baffoe, welcomed the outcome of the workshop saying “We are thrilled that participants have agreed on these draft Principles for Responsible Palm Oil Production in Ghana.

They will guide the development of the sector and will help our producers to meet growing international demand for sustainably produced palm oil”, he said. 

The workshop brought together TFA 2020 is a public–private partnership bringing together companies, governments and civil society with a shared goal of reducing tropical deforestation across the globe.

Its focus is on agricultural commodities like palm oil, soy, pulp and paper, and beef products, which drive more than 50 per cent of such deforestation.