The Minister of Trade and Industries, Mr Alan Kyerematen, has called on stakeholders in the shea industry to work towards transforming the sector into a resilient, lucrative, socially equitable and sustainable commodity.
He said there was the need for industry players such as financiers, processors, exporters and development partners to work individually and collectively to transform the industry.
The minister made the call last Monday at the 12th International Shea Conference in Accra.
The three-day conference, which was held on the theme: “Unveiling the value of shea for people, plant and profit,” was attended by key players in the sector from the West Africa Region to review progress made and chart new pathways to promote the shea industry.
It was jointly organised by the Global Shea Alliance (GSA) and Shea Network Ghana (SNG) with support from EXIM Bank, Ghana.
Ghana News Headlines
For latest news in Ghana, visit Graphic Online news headlines page Ghana news page
According to Mr Kyeremateng, the government had embarked on a comprehensive programme to support and promote made in Ghana shea products through the provision of incentive packages and the participation of local companies in the international trade shows.
The minister commended women collectors of shea whose relentless toils had helped to promote the industry far and near.
He said Ghana currently had five processing factories with more than 150,000 tons installed capacity. There are also three fractionation plants, including a refinery plant.
According to him, the government was collaborating with the African Development Bank and a Rural Enterprise Programme to establish four new modern processing facilities under the ‘One district, One factory’ initiative in the northern part of Ghana.
Mr Kyerematen said plans were also underway to support the private sector to establish manufacturing plants, including medium to large scale agro-processing factories to boost value addition on the shea.
The United States Ambassador to Ghana, Madam Stephanie S. Sullivan, said the shea industry was promising
She said the US believed in investing in people, especially women whose roles she described as significant to the growth of the shea sector in Ghana.
For his part, the Vice President of GSA, Mr Kasper Tourp-Villadsen, advised industry players to identify and tackle challenges that affected the growth of the shea sector.
He stressed on the need for governments in West Africa to enact laws that would accelerate the development of the industry.
“As an alliance, we must commit to the sustainability of our respective supply chains and adopt responsible business practices. Our continuous success is rooted in our ability to bolster shea’s competitiveness globally through new innovations and entry into new markets,” Mr Tourp-Villadsen added.