The Benso and Twifo Oil Palm Plantations (BOPP/TOPP) have jointly acquired a locally manufactured Palm Bunch Shredder.
Speaking during the test run of the machine in Accra on Friday, Neneyo Mate Kole, Managing Director of the companies said the shredder would boost the conversion of waste generated in the crude palm oil extraction process into compost.
He said the two companies started compost production in 2007 as part of their environmental management, palm nutrition and yield improvement programme by using the empty fruit bunches and the palm oil mill effluent.
The BOPP and TOPP Managing Director said the shredder would cut the empty palm bunches into pieces and thereby increase the surface area for microbial activity thus reducing the time to convert the bunches into compost.
He explained that the compost would supplement inorganic fertilizer use and reduce the amount of money spent on fertilizers.
Neneyo Mate Kole said the compost applied to the soil would improve soil organic matter, porosity and texture and enhance microbial activity in the soil.
He said, it would also help improve plant nutrient, prevent soil erosion and increase water retention as well as reduce leaching of nutrients for enhanced sustainability in agriculture.
Robert Woode, Managing Director of FATECO, manufacturers of the machine said the shredder was designed and built locally.
He said the prototype of the machine, estimated at about 5,000 Ghana cedis cuts palm bunches into fibre which could also be used as insulation material which could also be mined into threads, ropes and lines.
Mr Woode commended BOPP and TOPP management for placing the order with the company to help sustain local industries.
He said the company also manufactures palm oil and fruit juice extracting machines.
He expressed the hope that with the successful test run of the shredder the companies and other local industries would place orders for more instead of relying on foreign made machines and equipment which could not stand local conditions.