Ghana eyes 200 metric tons of shea production

Kofi Humado - Agric Minister
Kofi Humado – Agric Minister

Mr Clement Kofi Humado, Minister of Food and Agriculture has observed that the country’s current shea production of 130 metric tons could be increased to about 200 metric tons.

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

He said the country is ranked as one of the highest producer of shea in the Economic Community of West Africa States 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 the 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 to add value to the product, create employment and generate foreign exchange for the country.

He said the Crop Research Institute station at Bole 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 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 are 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 the women had helped the nation to maintain its status as the leader in shea production in the region.

Mr Zakaria 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 affect all members of the value chain.

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

Source: GNA

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