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History and Background

Oil Palm Development Association of Ghana (OPDAG)

OPDAG, is a private sector, Non Governmental association formed to help address  the challenges facing the oil palm sector in Ghana,OPDAG intends to increase competitiveness by strengthening coordination whilst improving management practices, market linkages and fair trade amongst key value chain actors in Ghana's Oil Palm industry. The Association was launched in 2015 by the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Hon Fiifi Kwetey and Hon. Dr Ekow Spio Garbrah Minister of Trade and industry.

The association comprises of relevant stakeholders and value chain actors in Ghana’s oil palm industry – small, medium to large scale growers and processors, refiners, manufacturers, marketers, input suppliers and distributors along the supply chain. These business account for more than 240,000 jobs in the economy. 



  •  Protecting the Environment: ensuring the adaptation and implementation of sustainable practices as prescribed by TFA 2020 and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. (RSPO).
  • Increased productivity – championing measures to improve yield of small holders and implement sustainable agricultural practices as prescribed by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
  • Land Access – making land acquisition easy and attractive for investors, especially because Ghana is a net importer of palm oil.
  • Trade malpractices – halting the negative effect of imported (illicit and under-invoiced) vegetable oil on the refining sector, and its ripple effect on reducing incentives for value chain development and integration.

Background of Oil Palm Production in Ghana

Oil Palm in Ghana became a commercial crop at the beginning of the 19th Century.  Originally the sector was based on wild palm harvesting and from 1850 onwards oil palm evolved to an agricultural crop that was cultivated either in small farms or in plantations.  This led to palm oil becoming the principal export commodity in the 19th Century and accounting for 75% of Ghana’s export volumes back then.  However, in the 20th Century, a lot has changed. Presently, Ghana has over 350,000 hectares of oil palm planted and a production of over 240,000 tons of palm oil.  Currently Ghana has unmet demand of over 100,000 tons of palm oil annually which is imported.

In view of this situation, the government has put in place several interventions to support of Development Partners to re-launch and develop the palm oil sector to boost productivity and increase production.  Some of the interventions include;

3,000 hectares out-grower project with funding from the Agence Francaise de Development (AFD)

Expansion of seed nuts production capacity of Oil Palm and Coconut Research Institute (OPRI) from 2 million to 5 million seed nuts per year under a World Bank sponsored project

Cultivation of over 10,000 hectares small-scale farms under a Presidential Special Initiative (PSI) on oil palm and

Development of an Oil Palm Master Plan for Ghana with support from AFD, amongst others.



  • Major constraints and challenges facing the industry  
  • Weak primary production base dominated by wild grove exploitation and smallholder production. 
  • Weak palm oil value chain integration and coordination indicated by high cost of production and distribution
  • Inadequate funding and appropriate credit facilities.
  • Inadequate modern technology and low application of innovation, as well as low investment in research and development.
  • Hindrances to land acquisition and security of tenure for large plantations.
  • Limited commercially driven Research & Development, especially for planting material and production technology.