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Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio, the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Lands and Forestry, has called on all Private Commercial Forest Plantation Developers to invest in the newly commissioned Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory established by Star Agro Forestry Limited in Atwima Mponua in the Ashanti Region.


Hon. Owusu-Bio stated that seedlings produced in the modern laboratory will significantly reduce the period required for plantation timber species planted in Ghana to reach full maturity for commercial harvesting.


“This development will therefore dismiss the long-held notion that it takes a very long time for returns to be realized from investments in the forest plantation establishment”.


Speaking at the tape cutting ceremony of the laboratory on Tuesday, 16th January, 2024, the Deputy Minister noted that the plant laboratory has been established at an opportune time which will afford the country grow more quality materials now more than ever.


He further tasked the company to fast track their processes in producing fruit seedlings for local farmers to plant on farms for international export to generate more income.


The Chief Executive of Forestry Commission, Mr. John Allotey took his turn to congratulate the management and staff of Star Agro Forestry limited for their foresight to invest in such innovative project.


The Chief Executive also disclosed the Commission’s process of completing a fit-for-purpose central tree nursery with modern facilities at Nsuatre in the Bono Region.


He was optimistic that seedlings to be produced from the Tissue Culture Laboratory, the Forestry Commission’s central nursery and other modern tree nurseries will ensure that adequate high quality tree seedlings of superior genetic quality are available in-country to meet government’s aggressive national afforestation and reforestation targets.


Mr. Allotey encouraged Management of the company to employ at least 80% Ghanaians and also make the laboratory accessible to students for research purposes.


Mr. Sanjay Poddar, the Managing Director of Star Agro Forestry Limited in his welcome address explained that tissue Culture is a modern method of plant propagation and Ghana’s adoption will mean an increase in the production of quality indigenous crops and staples foods such as Teak, Eucalyptus, Bamboo, Cocoa and Cashew.


Mr. Poddar spelt out some benefits of the tissue culture as against plant cuttings. He opined that one plant tissue can produce 10,000 to 100,000 plant seedlings.


The occasion was also graced by the Paramount Chief of the Toase Traditional Area, Nana Yim Awere Ababio who reiterated the earlier call by the C.E, Forestry to recruit the local folks as workers in their company.


On the sidelines, Hon. Benito together with other guests planted tree seedlings to mark the opening of the laboratory.


Present at the commissioning were the Deputy Chief Executive of Forestry Commission, Mr. Sulemana Nyadia, Technical Director, Forestry, Mr. Joseph Osiakwan and some officials from the Forestry Commission.