The flagbearer for the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ivor Kobina Greenstreet plans to make the commercial cultivation of the African tropical almond tree the backbone of the Ghanaian economy should his party win power come the November polls.
Mr. Greenstreet, who took his turn on Tuesday at the Institute of Economic Affairs’ (IEA) Evening Encounter series, believes that the cultivation of the tropical almond tree, known as “abrofo nkatee” in the local Akan dialect, could earn the country as much as US$300 billion in revenue.
He explained that it would be relatively easy to cultivate the tropical almond tree noting that, it had a short growing period, good yield, minimal rainfall requirements and cost efficient harvesting and processing.
Most important for Mr. Greenstreet however is the point that “the price on the international market for almond oil is as much as US$10,000 a ton, and I am understating the price. Cocoa has never gone above US$3,600 a ton. Oil palm is currently US$800 a ton.”
Speaking on the implementation of this vision, Mr. Greenstreet stated that, his government would “mobilize two million youth to plant 32 trees per person in an eight-hour work day at 175 trees per hectare, meaning that a total area equivalent to 7,314,285.7 hectares, will be planted giving us almost 26 million tons for the whole area.”
“A rough estimate based on the above could potentially produce 30 million tons of oil, multiplied by 10 per litre and Ghana’s could potentially generate US$300 billion dollars,” he stated. He added that the “Financing of this programme, will be made available from different local and international sources and it will be an incentive-based scheme based on out grower system.”
We won’t beg for money like the NDC – Greenstreet Mr. Greenstreet also took a jab at the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), who he said are running around begging for a fraction of what the country could generate from its natural resources.
“Why be shameful and disgraceful like the NDC, chasing the Chinese around in circles for US$ 3 billion when God has given is us fertile lands that with a little effort, we could aim to generate US$300 billion. Cut that target in half, even more than half and earning a US$100 billion alone will clear the country’s debts.”