Palm Tree Farming Promises to be Fruitful Enterprise for Farmers in Odobeng, Ghana

The palm tree is one of Ghana’s central region’s greatest resources. Odobeng is an ideal location for palm tree farming and palm oil manufacturing because of the areas dense rain forest climate. Thanks to a partnership with the iF Foundation local farmers are being empowered to harvest more palm fruit. An iF Foundation supported palm oil processing mill in Odobeng, scheduled to open in the near future, will provide added economic benefit to area farmers. When ripe, palm fruit is red, soft and juicy. Inside the fruit is a large seed, which contains a palm kernel. Palm oil is made from the fruit and palm kernel oil is made from the seed. In order to harvest the ripe fruit, farmers climb to the top of the palm tree. The bunch of fruit is then cut down and each fruit is carefully removed. Palm oil and palm kernel oil are then processed into cooking oils as well as bath and dish soap. One big difference between palm oil and palm kernel oil is the amount of saturated fat. 50% of the fat in palm oil is saturated whereas 80% of the fat in palm kernel oil is saturated. In addition there is no waste when processing the palm fruit into oil. The husk and palm kernel shells are used to build fire for cooking while the palm tree branches are used to weave baskets and the leaves for making brooms

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