On Wednesday, May 29, 2013, her Excellency Dr. Renate Schimkoreit the German Ambassador to Ghana paid a working visit to the Rubber Outgrower Plantation Project of GREL.

The Rubber Outgrower Unit is the Extension Services   wing of   Ghana Rubber Estates Limited (GREL). This unit is responsible for the implementation and management of   various schemes under the Rubber Outgrower Plantations Project (ROPP). The schemes   give opportunities to individual farmers to plant and own rubber plantation with assistance in the form of loans from some development partner.   GREL provides   technical   support in the form of Extension Service and   some inputs.

The phase 1 of the project commenced in 1995 with   Four hundred (400)  Outgrowers  assisted to plant 1200.28 hectares of Rubber.  Financing was provided by Agence Française de Developpement (AFD), IDA/World Bank and Government of Ghana with an amount of 1.643 million Euros.

In 2006 the German Government, through their development bank KFW, AFD and the Ghana Government   co-financed the Phase three III of the  Outgrower Plantation Project   to the tune of €19.9 million.  This Phase   assisted   1,800   farmers   to plant 7,885 hectares of   Rubber which was far above the 7,000 initial projections, in the Western and Central Regions of Ghana.

It is worth mentioning that since the commencement of the project in 1995, Four (4) Phases have been implemented with 5,550 farmers assisted to plant 22,640 Hectares of rubber.

Dr. Renate Schimkoreit, during a tour of the project site also held a town hall meeting with the farmers to find the progress of work. Most of the Phase III farmers whose plantations are in the production stage underscored the benefits of the scheme to the entourage.

 Her Excellency was   thrilled and was pleased that the farmers are reaping the benefits for which the project was   co-financed by her Government in the first place.  She stated   that   “though I have read on rubber trees, today is my first time of having physical contact with a Rubber Tree and, I am so happy   that my country, Germany is part of the success story being told”.

The project director   Mr. Emmanuel Akwasi Owusu on behalf of the Managing Director Mr. Lionel Barre thanked Her Excellency Dr. Renate and her team for taking time off their busy schedule to visit the Project.

 Clearly the Project which is on-going and   currently in the Phase IV is fulfilling its vision of “Economic empowerment through rubber cultivation for sustainable rural community development to alleviate poverty”.   People in the communities are attesting to this vision.