Report by Iddi Z. Yire, GNA Special Correspondent in Abidjan, Cote d™Ivoire
Courtesy: Ghana Export Promotion Authority.
Abidjan, Jan. 31, GNA - The Export Trade, Agricultural and Industrial Development Fund (EDAIF) will be empowering women™s group in the shea nut industry with small motorised means of transport to help increase the volume of shea nuts picked.
Mr Ibrahim Yakubu Iscandar, EDAIF Agriculture Officer said research had revealed that only 40 per cent of the shea nuts that grow in the wild were being handpicked by women groups, hence the need to equip them with the means of transport known as śmotor kingsť to aid them in the picking of the nuts.
He said with the motor kings as a means of transport for the women™s group, it would reduce the number of man hours used by them in walking to and fro the bushes and farms in search of the shea nuts.
Mr Iscandar, who made the discloser on Thursday in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Abidjan, observed that, the proposal was waiting approval from the EDAIF Board.
He said EDAIF would also build the capacity of the women™s group to be able to process the shea butter and to ensure that it was well refined to make it more competitive on the international market.
He said due to the inability of these women™s groups to remove impurities from the butter, they are forced to sell at reduced prices to middle men, adding that, until they are able to refine it very well they would not be able to generate more income.
He said the Ministry of Trade and Industry would be supporting the women™s group with equipment to enable them to produce shea butter free from impurities and odour.
Mr Iscandar said EDAIF would also be providing support for rice farmers in the three northern regions to boost rice production.
He said support would also be given to farmers in mango growing communities of the three northern regions and in northern Volta Region.