The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has hinted of plans to sponsor
PhD students to conduct research on shea nut production to enable the board to adopt innovative ways of developing the shea industry in the three regions of the north .
The research will help identify varieties of shea tree species with short gestation period just as cocoa and also develop innovative ways of processing shea nuts to meet international standards.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of COCOBOD,
The office accommodation, according to the chief executive, would be the rallying point for the development of the shea industry in Ghana through the entire shea supply value chain ranging from research, plantation to processing.
“The shea is sacred in northern Ghana just as the cocoa is sacred in the southern sector and we must protect the trees to be able to develop the shea sector to create more jobs for the people of Northern Ghana, particularly, the teeming unemployed youth and women,” he advised.
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According to the chief executive, the sector deserved the same attention as the cocoa industry for which reason the COCOBOD was supporting the shea sub-sector with financial and technical support towards the production, sale
“Today, we had a steering committee meeting as part of the road map to get a board for the shea sector, right now we have only a unit and it has made a tremendous effort and developed a strategic document, which is before the COCOBOD board of directors for review and possible approval for the constitution and inauguration of the board,” he said.
For her part, a Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Northern Development Authority (NDA), Madam Lariba Zuwera, said the COCOBOD’s intended development of the shea sector in Northern Ghana was in line with the government development agenda.
She gave an assurance that the NDA would support the COCOBOD in its development drive to improve on
Madam Zuwera, however, appealed to chiefs and people in the area to protect and plant more shea trees.