Kadjebi, November 21: Palm tree fellers in the Kadjebi District of the Oti Region have called on the government for material support, specifically requesting subsidized modern tools to improve their efficiency and sustain their businesses. The appeal highlights the challenges they face using traditional methods in their work.
According to Ghana News Agency, a 30-year-old palm tree feller, the current reliance on axes for uprooting palm trees is inefficient, consuming 20-25 minutes per tree, which he says is time-consuming and energy-draining. Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr. Najombe, who has been in the business since the age of 13, noted that palm tree felling is lucrative, but the inefficiency of traditional tools is limiting their earning potential.
He reported charging GHC15 to GHC20 per tree, with the ability to fell up to 10 trees on a good day. The use of axes, a method inherited from older generations, is causing many young people to leave the profession.
Mr. Najombe expressed that introducing a modern tool capable of uprooting a palm tree within 5-7 minutes would significantly boost their productivity and attract more people to the work. Another palm tree feller, known as ‘Pastor’ Kwame, emphasized the impact of climate change on their work, stating that the changing soil texture in some areas increases the time required to uproot a tree to nearly 40 minutes.
He also mentioned the possibility of workers quitting due to the reliance on outdated tools and the lack of a formal association, which leads to inconsistency in service charges. Mr. Kwame expressed a willingness to help form an association, suggesting that a unified body could establish uniform fees and provide a stronger collective voice for addressing their challenges. The palm tree fellers’ appeal for government intervention underscores the need for modernization in traditional industries and the potential for increased productivity and job retention with appropriate support.