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Ellenda, Ghana - March 2020

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On March 12, 2020, Noé in collaboration with its partners – the NGO WAPCA, the local community organization Ankasa-Tano CREMA and the Private Company Savannah Fruits Company – launched the Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Processing Centre at Ellenda in the Jomoro District in the Western Region of Ghana.

The construction of the centre is part of Noé’s flagship EconoBio programme in Ghana which aims at developing green value chains for the benefit of local populations living on the outskirts of biodiversity-rich areas, with the support of private sector and civil society.

Within the Ankasa-Tano Conservation Area, one of the key components of the project includes the development of a community-led organic & fair-trade Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) business. The project has since 2018 empowered 200 coconut farmers to become certified organic and over 45 VCO processors. The launch of the new processing centre will have over 30 additional women VCO Processors employed.

Worthy of mention at the opening ceremony is the signing of a Conservation Agreement between Savannah Fruits Company (SFC) and the Ankasa-Tano CREMA*. The agreement enjoins the CREMA to commit to preserving the forest through conservations actions such as ecological monitoring, reforestation and compliance to organic certification standards and best farming practices, whereas SFC commits to providing technical support and purchasing of the coconut fruits from registered farmers within the CREMA at a premium and contributing to the CREMA conservation Fund with 1 pesewas contribution per coconut purchased. The CREMA also received $1,681 cheque amount as SFC’s contribution to the Conservation Fund for the 2019 business period. The creation of the Conservation Fund is expected to make the CREMA financially self-sustaining even beyond the project.

The about 400 kg of oil production capacity per day processing centre will be fully operational by mid-2020 and will operate in full compliance with organic and Fair for Life (FFL) certification standards. It will be fully owned and managed by the CREMA with technical support from SFC and WAPCA and serve as a pilot community-led enterprise for the construction of other similar centres in the area in future.

The opening ceremony was graced by representatives from Sofi Tucker Foundation, French Development Agency, Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana, Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques from Côte d’Ivoire and Chiefs of the area. And was possible with the funding support of Sofi Tucker Foundation, French Development Agency, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and Pachamamai.

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*CREMA: Community Resource Management Area; Community-based governance mechanism for the management of natural resources.

 

 

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