Mr John Bennam Jabaah, Deputy Minister Designate for the Northern Region has called for the passage of a new law to regulate the sheanut industry to prevent foreign licensed agents from exploiting the farmers.
According to him, currently there is no law regulating the pricing and export of sheanut from Ghana and as such a lot of the foreign companies were exporting the raw nuts which do not benefit the nation.
“Burkina Faso has done it and they are gaining big out of it…. Sheanut is a major cash crop in Burkina Faso…. The Ministry of Agriculture and the Ghana COCOBOD should find a way of contacting their counterpart in Burkina and see how we can also get some regulations for the shea industry in Ghana”.
Mr Jabaah made the call when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament for vetting as the Deputy Minister Designate for the Northern Region.
Mr Jabaah who is also the General Manager Produce Buying Company (PBC) Shea at Buipe announced that the company had secured new foreign markets for the product in China, Morocco, South Africa, Canada and Holland.
He said the prices of sheabutter per metric ton on the world market currently stood at $2400, which he said was trying to overtake cocoa.
“In short sheabutter is becoming more popular than cocoa… products that are made from cocoa is becoming expensive than that of cocoa” he added.
Mr Jabaah also stated that there were several private companies that were into sheanut business but the problem in the sector was lack of law to regulate the pricing and export of sheanut.
He explained the sheabutter produce from Ghana for export was one of the highest qualities and as such had attracted many foreign markets and stressed the need to sensitise the people in the region for peaceful co-existence among the various ethnic groups.
He said the people in the region were aware that without peace there would be no development and assured that he would work with the Regional Minister to ensure peace in the region at all times.