Some palm oil producers at Subi, near Kade in the Eastern Region, say they are still feeling the impact of the negative reports about some market women adulterating the product with dye. The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) earlier this year arrested some market women for allegedly mixing the product with textile dye, popularly called Sudan 4. It however announced in July this year, that majority of palm oil in the markets it had tested was safe for consumption.
But the producers at Subi, a farming community known for palm oil production say their business is yet to recover. One of them is 50-years old Grace Animah, who has been in the palm oil business for the past 15 years. She said the once lucrative business is almost dead now. “The middle men are the ones who give us the selling price. It didn’t use to be so, but now even if you give them your own price, they won’t buy from you”, she told Citi News. She added that “people come to buy from here to Accra and even outside the country. But they do not buy like they used to because of the news”. According to her, the palm oil business took a nosedive when news of adulterated oil on some markets broke. “To be honest with you, we don’t know where they even sell the dye. It is those who buy from us, who adulterate it. I was also surprised to hear that we put millipedes in the oil to enrich its colour. In fact, I get angry when they don’t treat the palm fruits hygienically. I eat some of what I produce, so why will I put millipedes in them?” Despite the current challenges, Grace Animah remains hopeful business will pick up soon.