THE Government of Ghana has invested more than GH¢62 million in the rubber industry under the Rubber Outgrower Plantation Project (ROPP).
Richard Twumasi-Ankrah, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, said during the 10th Annual General Meeting of the Rubber Outgrowers and Agents Association (ROAA) held tecently in Agona-Nkwanta, the Government had directly supported ROAA with over GH¢1.7 million through the provision of infrastructure and capacity building services.
He said an estimated GH¢40 million had been provided through the Agriculture Development Bank (ADB) and the National Investment Bank (NIB) for plantation development by rubber outgrower farmers.
Meanwhile, an estimated GH¢20 million had also been allotted to the Ghana Rubber Estate Limited (GREL) for technical assistance to farmers, he said, adding that more than 300 farmers, who had fully paid loans, benefited under phases one and two of the ROPP.
Citing ROAA’s annual report, the 5,549-member Association reportedly achieved a net income of GH¢244,689 last year, a slight drop in the net income of GH¢259,270 posted in 2011; whilst the Gross Income for 2012 was GH¢531,905, a marked increase from the previous year’s GH¢501,781.
Kwame Awuah-Asante, National Chairman of ROAA also disclosed that rubber production grew by 21.1% from 6,242 tonnes in 2011 to 7,602 tonness in 2012.
The Association in collaboration with GREL has negotiated for a EUR18 million worth of loan from France’s Alliance Francaise de Developpement (AFD) for the phase five of the ROPP.
Awuah-Asante said a total of 12,000 hectares of rubber would be planted by 4,000 farmers from 2013 to 2015 in all operational areas under phase five, adding that fertiliser had to be procured at the prevailing market price to supply to farmers; and stressing that the Association did not benefit from the government’s subsidised fertiliser programme last year.
He said the