The Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Professor Seidu Alhassan, has called on government to give top priority to the shea industry to help reduce poverty in the communities where it is grown.
He said the protection of the shea tree and promotion of its products were key to poverty alleviation, as it would also boost the country’s export level.
Prof. Alhassan made this call at the weekend in Tamale during the launching of a book titled: “Ghana’s Shea Industry: Knowing the Fundamental.”
The book, which is meant to highlight the potential of the shea industry and its challenges was written by Prof. Alhassan.
The Pro-VC also said initiating a multifaceted approach could help accelerate the growth of the country’s shea industry.
Developing the shea industry was necessary because it could help create millions of jobs for the unemployed youth in the country.
Prof. Alhassan said the book was meant to upsurge the knowledge of those engaged in the shea industry, particularly the women, to facilitate increased production and expand their businesses.
The Minister of Food and Agricultural, Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna, who launched the book, stated that the shea industry in Ghana occupied an important place in the economic development of the country, especially in northern Ghana.
He said due to the economic benefits of the shea industry government was very committed to partner organisations, businesses and academia to develop it.
Alhaji Limuna said the government over the years, had initiated a number of measures to help boost the industry.
The minister said over 2, 000 women received loans, skilled training and access to improved shea butter processing facilities under a Sekaf Shea Butter Processing loan scheme.
Alhaji Limuna hinted that many strategies were being developed by the ministry to help improve the shea industry in the country, saying that the book would be of help to the ministry.
The Northern Regional Minister, Abubakari Abdullah, commended Professor Alhassan for authoring the book which, he said, would contribute significantly to the growth of the shea industry.
He said the shea industry holds the key to the fight against poverty and called for concerted efforts to preserve the shea tree.
The regional minister also advocated the need for every household within the Savannah Ecological Zone to own a shea tree as means of preventing it being cut for charcoal.
From: Yakubu Abdul-Majeed, Tamale.