ActionAid hands over shea butter processing equipment to women groups
ActionAid, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in partnership with the European Union (EU)has inaugurated and handed over Shea butter processing equipment for women groups in selected rural communities in four districts of the Upper West Region.
The processing machinery which included crashers, kneaders, miller, roasters, head pans and motors for the powering of the equipment were handed over to Billaw Community in the Lambussie District, EremonSorguon and Chinchang communities in the Lawra and Sissala East Municipalities respectively as well asJumo community in the Wa East District.
Speaking at a short ceremony to hand over the equipment to the women group at Billaw, the Acting Head of Programmes for Action Aid, Ms Margaret Brew-Ward said 130 rural women had been trained across the four districts and municipalities in the use of the machinery to help improve productivity.
She stated that the installation of the equipment formed part of the NGO’s“Northern Ghana Integrated Development Project” (NGIDP) to help the women process quality sheabutter for sale.
She stated that the project coupled with training of the women in the Shea butter processing, sought to help the women earn a living and provide for their families, while providing a product that met international quality standards.
Ms Brew-Wardencouraged residents,especially men and community leaders in beneficiary communities to support the project to help increase its potential benefits to the communities.
“It is our expectation that the women we have trained will share the knowledge with other women in the Shea butter business that did not benefit from the training in order to maximise the essence of the intervention,” she said.
Ms Brew-Ward advised the women to keep good records and establish maintenance fund, which would be used to repair the machine if it broke down.
The maintenance fund, she explained, could also be used as a development fund to expand the business.
Ms Brew-Ward said shea butter production was one of the surest means to create employment and economic growth for rural women in the region and reiterated the need for the women to add value to their shea butter products in order to gain access to the international market for increased income generation.
A representative of the Chief of Billaw Community,MrSumaraBaenah, said thatthe project would go a long way to help women engaged in Shea butter production to produce quality shea butter for local consumption and for export.
He commendedAction Aid and its partner for the facility which he described as a big relief that would assist women in the shea butter business immensely.
FROM RAFIA ABDUL RAZAK, WA