An agric initiative aimed at reducing people?s dependence on the petroleum industry has taken off in Takoradi in the western region.

The private sector driven initiative is under the auspices of Building Business on Value Integrity and Dignity (B-BOVID Limited).

The company has so far secured a six hectare hive of industry including an oil palm nursery, organic palm oil and palm kernel mills as well as a vegetable oil refinery and an Information Communication Centre.

The CEO of B-BOVID, Issa Ouedraogo explained to the B&FT that the company is pioneering a new approach to agro-business in the Western region with focus on organics and social inclusion.

He said the oil find in the region has attracted tonnes of people to the area, which has increased demand for food and also created an opportunity for businesses to provide other agricultural-based support services.

?In the mist of the high level of poverty, the region has abundant arable land and favourable climate, rainfall, soil and vegetation condition for agricultural production.

?The oil exploration activities in the region and its consequent high influx of people and growing hospitality? is creating market for food, this is evident in the rising cost of food,? he said.

Mr. Ouedraogo said the company will collaborate with rural people and the poor to create sustainable jobs and opportunities for sustainable development as well as poverty alleviation.

He said the company is focused on developing oil palm productions into a vibrant income generation and wealth creation enterprise for smallholder farmers and rural communities.

Mr. Ouedraogo? said the company has an approved nursery that develops and supplies high yielding pest resistant seedlings to farmers as well as purchase their produce and process them to increase the value of the produce.

??The company provides organic fertilizer, animal feed for fish farming and livestock to farmers at a reduced price as well as ensure readymade market for small scale farmers by processing their produce into finished products and sharing the realized profit with them? he said.

By Juliet AGUIAR, Mpohor

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