Minister Predicts Increase In Shea Production



Mr Humado, Minister of AgricultureMr Clement Kofi Humado, Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoH) has stated that the country’s current shea production of 130 tonnes could be increased to about 200 tonnes.

This, he said is achievable if the numerous challenges especially the issue of floor pricing is addressed.

He said the country was ranked as one of the highest producer of shea in the West  African  sub-region with the production record of 130 metric tons out of the regional total production of about 300 metric tons.

The Minister made the observation in a speech read on his behalf at a day’s stakeholder forum, organised by the Global Shea Alliance (GSA) with funding from Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund, in Tamale on Tuesday.

The forum, which brought together buyers, exporters, women’s groups, manufacturers of shea products, financial institutions, researchers and technical experts, sought to design, develop and deliver strategies for a competitive and sustainable shea industry, to improve the living standards of the value chain actors especially the pickers of shea nuts.

Mr Humado said as part of government’s effort to exploit the potential of the shea industry, funds had been made available through agencies including Export Development and Agriculture Investment Fund, to enable stakeholders  access it  and add value to the product, to create employment and generate foreign exchange for the country.

He said the Crop Research Institute station at Bole in the Northern Region is developing improved technology to enhance natural management and domestication of crop to meet the objective of application of science and technology in agriculture.

He said the sustainable initiative, the first draft policy Shea Sector Development Strategy (SHEDS 2013-2030),  has been submitted to the Ghana Cocoa Board for finalisation.

Mr Iddi Zakaria, Coordinator of the Shea Network Ghana, said recent study estimated that more than 600,000 women in northern Ghana were involved in the shea value chain, a livelihood enterprise, which generates up to 15 per cent of income to support the families of beneficiaries.

He said the contribution of women had helped the nation to maintain its status as the leader in shea production in the region and called on stakeholders to unite and address the challenge of floor pricing.

Mr Senyo Kpelly, executive member of GSA, said the issue of floor pricing affected all members of the value chain.

He said shea nut and shea products had become a global traded commodity, and subject to supply and demand in the determination of both local and international pricing.

 

 

GNA

 

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