GHANA – Gold mining giant AngloGold Ashanti Ghana has launched a new Agri business programme dubbed ‘Obuasi Goes Agro (OGA)’ to support socio-economic development of host communities in Ghana.

The programme, launched in Adaase, a farming community in Obuasi, is one of the flagship socio-economic development interventions of AngloGold Ashanti which is part of their three (3) year Social Management Plan.

According to AngloGold Ashanti, the social management plan is aimed at bring socio-economic development in its host communities in Obuasi communities.

The long-term objective of the plan is to also contribute to the diversifying local economy through the design and implementation of innovative interventions in collaboration with stakeholders.

AngloGold Ashanti says that it has committed over 2milllion Ghana cedis in its current three year Social Management Plan budgeted for Agriculture.

The mining major further noted that its agriculture initiatives have so far provided direct employment to at least 90 farming household and has put 170 acres of lands under cultivation supporters by an irrigation system in their host communities.

The OGA program is in line with Government’s Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme aims to promote food security and immediate availability of selected food crops on the market.

AngloGold Ashanti committs over 2milllion Ghana cedis (US$344m) in its current three year Social Management Plan budgeted for Agriculture.

The PFJ was introduced to encourage Ghanaians to take farming more seriously, make farming once more a respectable and profitable venture and create jobs.

Since its implementation, the patronage has been phenomenal with many more farmers registering under it than anticipated.

For instance, in 2017, the ministry targeted 200,000 but at the end of the farming season, the figure was 202,000 farmers.

For the 2019, it is anticipated that the figure can exceed the one million targeted farmers to over 1.2 million farmers.

The results of the initiative has been great with more food being produced in Ghana than ever before.

According to Ghana’s minister for Agriculture, thanks to the PFJ programme, Tomatoes production for instance rose from 7.8 million kilograms in 2016 to 12 million kilograms in 2019 having 20 as an achievable yield.

Pepper on the other hand rose from 8.3 million kilograms in 2017 to 18 million kilograms in 2019 having 30 as an achievable yield.

Speaking during the launch, Senior Sustainability Manager for AngloGold Ashanti Emmanuel Baidoo said OGA has partnered with KB Agricare and Evergreen Ghana Initiative (both Obuasi –based private Agro business) and the department of Agriculture, Obuasi Municipal Assembly to ensure success of the project.

Mr. Baidoo added that Anglogold Ashanti is working with other partners to develop an oil palm out grower project to commence next year.

He further noted that the company was also exploring collaborative opportunities to identify other agro-based initiatives that can help drive its economic diversification agenda for Obuasi.

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