Business News of 2014-05-27

Sheanut project launched in Tamale

A project aimed at promoting the development of the sheanut industry in northern Ghana has been launched in Tamale.

Under the project, two million sheanut seedlings are to be nursed and raised on 8,000 hectares of land in the three regions of the north by next year with the support of GH¢5 million grant from the government.

In addition, 12 shea butter processing units are to be established in selected districts within the catchment area of the project to serve as ready markets for the sheanuts that would be produced by the shea plantations.

Women to benefit

In a speech read on his behalf at the launch of the project, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, said 1000 selected women across the project area would receive training in modern shea technology and business development.

The launch of the project also saw the inauguration of two committees tasked with the mandate to ensure the successful implementation of the project.

They are the Shea Supervisory Consultative Committee, comprising chiefs from the three regions of the north, and the shea technical committee, comprising vice-chancellors of public universities, the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Ministry of Land and Natural Resources, Savannah Plantations and some individuals.

Oversight supervision

The shea supervising consultative committee is to offer oversight supervisory duty to ensure that the project is executed according to its framework, while the Shea Technical committee is to supervise the implementation of the project.

Sounding very excited about the project, the Chief Executive Officer of Savannah Plantations, a Tamale-based agro-forestry organisation, Mr Issah Sulemana, said he relished the task given by the minister and the two committees to his organisation to ensure the practical and field implementation of the project.

He said his organisation had been championing the establishment of shea plantations in the past few years in view of the dwindling stock of the shea trees in the wild.

He said the reduction of the gestation period of the sheanut tree from over 20 years to five or six years by the Crop Research Institute of Ghana should be a source of encouragement for many organisations and individuals in the savannah zone of the country to establish shea plantations.

He added that his organisation already had a two-million shea nursery at Daboya in the Northern Region “and most of the seedlings for this project will be supplied from this nursery”.

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