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Harvesting prosperity: UNIDO training boosts income of Ghana farming families

19 February 2024 UNIDO

GQSP Ghana Story

Maame Akosua Amponsaa had been running her oil palm plantation in a small village near Ateiku in the Western Region of Ghana for years. 

Despite the effort she was putting into the soil of her 3.5-hectare farm, the returns were insufficient. The farm's yields provided barely enough income to sustain her family, and Maame was far from fulfilling her greatest aspiration: to give her children a sound education that would lift them out of poverty.

The main challenge Amponsaa's farm faced was that her farming methods did not align with the standards required by Ghanaian companies that export crude palm oil.  

And then UNIDO stepped in. 

With its Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQSP), funded by Switzerland, it provided training and coaching to Amponsaa and 62 other regional farmers, guiding them towards best management and agricultural practices. UNIDO also trained farmers on the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Independent Smallholder Standards, voluntary sustainability standards promoting the growth and use of sustainable palm oil production, and helped farmers obtain the RSPO certification.


The impact of UNIDO’s involvement was rapid and significant. 

Fresh fruit bunch yields have tripled, and fruit quality has improved, too. The result? A major boost to the income of Amponsaa and the other farmers.  

Now that they’ve adopted sustainable oil palm production methods and have obtained RSPO certification, they don’t just receive premiums on their product prices, but they can also sell their goods to the crude palm oil-exporting Ghanaian companies, opening up new market prospects.


Amponsa feels the direct impact on her life already. 

Her living conditions have improved and her dream of lifting her children out of poverty through education – out of reach not so long ago – now burns bright again: “With the group certification my farm is being managed well, my income keeps rising. Paying school fees is easier now!”  

Amponsaa is just getting started. 

Next, she plans to set up a medium-sized palm oil milling plant. That way, she can process her certified fruits into RSPO-certified crude palm oil, which would herald even greater profits. The sale of certified palm oil wouldn’t just increase her income yet more, it would also create more jobs in her village, where local processing of the certified fruits would happen. 

 “Ayekoo! (Congratulations!),” Amponsaa exclaims, “To UNIDO for the wonderful partnership and the success we have achieved together! We look forward to more such partnerships.” 

Project name: Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQSP) Ghana