The Orange Growers Association (OGA) has launched its Eastern Regional chapter at Akyem Aperade in the Achiase District to enhance quality farming and provide a profitable and readily available market for orange farmers in the country.
OGA was instituted a few years ago with the sole objective to assist farmers with technical knowledge and up to date farming techniques to ensure rich yield and direct access to off-takers who will purchase the oranges at competitive prices to prevent losses after harvest.
This initiative came about when Eastfield farms, the largest orange farm in Ghana with 1500 acres of purely organic grown oranges, and its advisory board met to deliberate on how to boost and promote organic orange farming and make oranges the most sought after fruit in Ghana and West Africa.
The President of OGA, Nana Yaw Baffour Frimpong, at the launch called on orange farmers and potential farmers with the interest of cultivating oranges to join the association in order to access all the benefits available to members.
He stated further that not only would members of the association get technical knowledge on orange farming and marketing, they would also receive financial support from government through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and private institutions like ANKAA Tropical Oranges Ltd, Sono-Pinora, financial institutions like ABSA, among others.
A Crop Scientist/Citrus expert from the University of Ghana, Professor Godfred K. Ofosu-Budu, speaking as a special guest during the launch advised orange farmers to adopt the right agronomical practices used in growing oranges such as regular pruning, weeding in order to get sweet and healthy oranges for their off takers.
He added that although there were no avenues from the government to assist or provide support for graduates who have the zeal to become industrious entrepreneurs in the country, if graduates could venture into orange farming, they would find it to be a very successful venture and an avenue to employ others.
The Country Director of Eco Index Agro Solutions Limited, Daniel Baisie Junior, suppliers of Begreen- F Organic Liquid Fertiliser, was excited about the prospects of working with the association and assisting farmers produce oranges fortified with their organic fertilisers.
ANKAA Tropical Oranges Ltd, the main off-takers of Eastfield farms led by its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Malcolm Senanu, presented a brand-new farm tractor with accessories and a boom sprayer to Eastfield Farms Limited to help increase its yield since they have been their main off-taker for the past two years. They also made a pledge to only off-take oranges from OGA members.