The country’s young people have been prompted to take advantage of the embattled palm oil sector in the country and create opportunities out of the situation.
The call comes in the wake of personal suspicions of contamination of palm oil in certain parts of the country with harmful chemicals.
The call was made by the Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Authority, NYA at a 2 – day orientation Workshop for directors of the NYA in Koforidua.
According to Mr. Emmanuel Asigri, the contamination of palm oil by producers of the product by selfish individuals should come as an opportunity to unemployed young people to bottle and label the product for the market, emphasizing that such packaging would give the oil the needed recognition and credibility which would in turn create employment opportunities for such people.
He contends however that this should come with an approval from the Food and Drugs Board which in the end would boost the confidence of the buying public into patronizing such approved products
“If we’re able to get these young people to go into some of these ventures where they can bottle palm oil and sell it in the market, it will kill this strategy of infusing our palm oil with chemicals that are not good. This is because once it’s bottled, it needs to be labeled and go through certification from the FDB and there’s no way the board will allow you to take just any product to the market without going through the various scientific verification to ascertain its composition, “ he emphasized.
The NYA Chief therefore challenged the youth to create business opportunities for themselves by ‘adding value to the things in their environment which will also offer them the needed employable skills.’
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has in previous years warned against the consumption of palm oil sold in markets across the country.
The calls came after the Authority heightened its market surveillance after discovering oil samples picked from certain markets in the country contained highly dangerous textile dye which causes cancer.
According to free reports, the results showed that 98% of the palm oil tested positive for Sudan IV dye.
The CEO also tasked the youth to take advantage of the several opportunities available in the Agric sector. He was convinced that a sector like aquaculture which is challenged with under production offers an opportunity to young people to venture into the fray and take advantage of its vast opportunities.
“Aquaculture is a widespread activity in areas such as the Krobo areas. Today, we’ve been told that our fish stock cannot meet the demands of the country. If we have young people who can come together in groups or even as individuals and put their focus in these areas, I believe it’ll make them more viable than what we have,’ Mr. Asigri admonished.
He was equally worried that the horticultural industry which is also characterized by low productivity is not being exploited, questioning why the youth has failed to exploit the sector which is unable to supply the needed vegetable products.
“The oil companies have complained that they cannot rely on Ghana for vegetables production (to feed their companies) and they therefore have to rely on importation from Burkina Faso and Ivory coast. Young people who involve themselves in these sectors therefore can make a headway, “ the CEO advised.