Research shows shea tree could now be matured for three-six years

Shea nuts - Cocoa of the north

An experiment has proved that the shea tree could be matured or bear fruits in a gestation period of between three to six years.

Dr. Joshua Yidana, Head of the Horticultural Department of the University for Development Studies (UDS) who is conducting research into the crop, said the research is a breakthrough from many studies in the field.

He said for many years, there had been several studies to reduce the gestation period of the shea tree which usually bears fruits between 10 to 15 years, adding that the first ever grafting method of the shea nut was successful in 2008.

Dr Yidana was making a presentation about his studies on the crop in Tamale on Thursday during a two-day forum organized by a network of Send Ghana, SNV and Oxfam, all NGOs.

It was under the theme; “Shea; An economic resource for poverty reduction, a multi-stakeholders’ approach” and aimed at sharing ideas and learning to chart a common platform to promote the crop.

Dr Yidana said he was doing the grafting at Zoonaaliyi near Nyakpala where about 1,200 grafted plants covering about a hectare of land is being observed with some students of UDS involved in the study.

He said he started the experiment about two years and some of them had shown signs of fruiting and the grafted plants could survive in any good soil.

Dr Yidana said the grafting technique would be shared to farmers to help increase production.

He said the grafting method gave the crop bigger plants, high yielding variety and uniformity of the plants and expressed disappointment about the government’s inability to fund research work.

Some of the participants blamed Ghana Cocoa Board for stifling the growth of the shea industry and called for de-coupling the shea nut from the Board to give shea the opportunity to expand.

Source: GNA

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