Anthony Apubeo, GNA
Kanabisi (UE), Dec 6, GNA – World Vision Ghana has constructed and inaugurated two shea butter processing factories in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region, to empower rural women to increase production and improve livelihoods.
The two factories with installed processing machines and equipment located at Kanabisi and Sheaga communities are providing direct employment to over 200 women.
The factories were fully funded by the Australian Government through its High Commission to Ghana, at a cost of about US$52,000 which is equivalent to GH¢232,000.00.
Mr Dickens Thunde, the National Director, World Vision Ghana, explained that the gesture came off on the background of a baseline study, which revealed the abundance of shea trees in the district and the potential of the shea nut industry in the district, which could empower the rural women in the area.
“The estimated annual shea kernel production in Ghana was about 130.000 metric tonnes and women in the communities have indigenous skills in shea nut and shea butter processing, so we are supporting to train them on value addition, best practices in shea industry to enable them produce in commercial quantities and take advantage of the growing demand globally for shea butter, especially from Ghana”, Mr Thunde said,
Mr Thunde said the women’s group managing the Sheaga Shea butter processing had so far been able to produce and supply over one tone of shea butter valued at GH¢10,000.00 for export in 2019.
The National Director said his outfit established similar shea butter processing centres in the Bawku West and Garu Districts to economically and socially empower the women for improved household food security and income generation.
He said, “The project will continue to work with the district assembly and other relevant partners to develop effective markets for the products and its related value chain for sustainability of the factories”.
Mr Andrew Barnes, the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, reiterated the commitment of the government of Australia to supporting sustainable and inclusive agriculture production, economic growth and food security in Ghana.
“This project aligns with Australian Aid policies by improving food production in northern Ghana, which, although is a relatively productive region, grapples with low agriculture productivity as a result of climate change and unsustainable agricultural practices,” the Commissioner added.
Dr Christopher Boatbil, the District Chief Executive for the area, lauded the efforts of the World Vision Ghana and the Australian Government for the investment in the district over the years and said it was complementing government’s efforts of ensuring economic and social empowerment for the women.
The DCE admonished the women to make good use of the facilities to increase their income generation and improve on their livelihoods and their families particularly children.
The beneficiary women expressed gratitude to World Vision Ghana and its partners and said the facilities were a big relief to them and it would help to curb migration of women to the southern part especially during the dry season.
Ms Enerstina Apuure, one of the beneficiaries indicated that their production rate increased so much, from a few pans a day to about five maxi bags of the shea nuts in a day, with the use of the machines.