GEPA appeals to men to participate in sheanut picking

Mr Samuel Dentu, a Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), has appealed to men to keenly participate in the picking and gathering of sheanuts during the harvesting seasons.

He said it had come to the notice of the GEPA that the picking and gathering of the sheanuts, which was needed internationally, was left under the care of women alone, resulting in loss of huge quantities in the bush.

He explained that even though the picking of sheanuts was a traditional practice for women alone in the past, once it was not a taboo, men should change their mindset and participate in the collection of the nuts to boost export of the commodity.

“We are looking for how to increase the quantities and volumes of the commodity to get our balance of trade in a good shape as well as help improve our export earners and the strengthening of the Cedi against the dollar to help sustain the economy for development,” he added.

Mr Dentu was responding to questions from the media during an interview session, after a workshop on the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) organised in Wa.

He said the GEPA, together with other government institutions were in the process of persuading and encouraging private business entities that were into importing goods and services to consider investing in the processing of nontraditional commodities to add more value to them for export rather than importing them.

He called on the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council and other relevant organisations to start a conversation against the felling of valuable trees, especially the shea for charcoal and fuel wood purposes.

Alhaji Tahiru Issahaku Moomin, the Wa Municipal Chief Executive, in a speech read on his behalf, said the Wa Municipal Assembly was to support at least two women groups in the municipality to establish agro processing businesses under its “one area, one product” project.

“The assembly would also make funds available for the training of weavers, shea butter processors and rice millers on the product value addition to meet international standards,” he said.

He said the assembly’s initiative was to get the municipality on the path of prosperity through the expansion of export commodities base and the enhancement of industrialisation development.

Mr Moomin said the assembly’s plan will fit well into the government’s policy to enable value addition, business expansion and create jobs as well as promote entrepreneurial development of the youth across the country.

This, he said, would also help to accelerate the industrial transformation agenda by building substitution and exports diversification to earn more foreign exchange for development.

The 40 potential exporters who were into shea butter and soybean processing were drawn from the Wa Municipal, Wa East and Wa Districts and introduced to the NEDS, and the AfCFTA implementation in Ghana: Status and way forward.

The workshop was aimed to expand the supply base and ensure the promotion of vigorous value addition of products and regulate the business environment, as well as build the capacity of processors and producers involved in nontraditional export transactions.

Its ultimate objective of the NEDS was to support the government’s initiative of revitalising the economy through transformation from a raw material-based economy into an industrialized export-led one.

Source: GNA

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