The development of the cash crop in Ghana is seen as an opportunity and a necessary resource for its future.
In 1990, in the Daboase District, the Ghanaian government granted 18 880 hectares to SIPL, a company funded by the African Development Bank, to establish a plantation for the construction of a paper pulp mill. Significant investments were made, 5 000 hectares of trees were planted (acacia and gmelinas), and houses, roads and infrastructure were built. Nevertheless, due to insufficient funding or income, the project came to a standstill and was abandoned.
The government therefore decided to privatize the plantation, prompting Socfin to invest in Ghana in 2012. The Group’s activities are not confined to the plantations: it has renovated and built housing, social infrastructure, offices, medical infrastructure and shops.
The initial objective of the PSG (Plantations Socfinaf Ghana) plantation is to develop 6 000 hectares of palm trees, followed by 5 000 hectares of rubber trees. Oil palm and rubber trees will only cover 13 000 of the concession’s 18 880 hectares in order to preserve the area’s natural environment. In addition, 1 000 hectares of oil palm at Manso, 22 km from Daboase, are integrated into the project.
The project’s second phase consists in constructing an oil mill, which will be operational in 2019.
Today, these investments and the associated job creation have drastically changed the situation in the Daboase District. For example, more than 1 900 Ghanaians have gained a source of stable income since the project’s revival. Shops are giving the streets a new look, and the road infrastructure, of which construction started in the early 1990s, is now finished or rehabilitated, making it easier for the region’s inhabitants to go around.
Children’s education is the basis for long-term development, and PSG maintains the public school located on the plantation. From pre-school to college, more than 1 000 pupils attend this school every day, and more than 600 of them are children from the surrounding communities.
Medical infrastructure and personnel are also available for the company employees, in addition to the public hospital located at 3 km from the estate.