Thursday, December 14, 2006

Shea Butter Press Release

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We just read an interesting press release from a couple of days ago about the Shea Butter Indusrty at the local level. Let us know what you think.
Purely Shea-The Leader in Organic Shea Butter Skincare

Ghana: Don't Neglect Shea Nut Industry
Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra)
December 12, 2006
Edmond Gyebi

ALTHOUGH SEVERAL organizations and individuals including experts have identified shea nut as one of the potential commodities that can enhance the economy of this country or reduce poverty levels amongst women in the three Northern Regions, yet still, successive governments seem to remaining nonchalance or insouciance to the promotion and development of the shea nut industry.

The Shea industry up till now still looks very unpopular and crestfallen, despite the various governments' promises towards the promotion of industries to exterminate poverty and hunger among the unemployed Ghanaians.

As a result of these lackadaisical behaviours by governments, most active people who are already in the shea business and investing almost all their time, energy and resources seem to be uncertain, as to whether or not they would one day smile out of their investment.

Consequently, the Executive Chairperson of the Northern Ghana Community Action Fund (NOGCAF), Madam Anna-Maria Fati Paul has re-alerted the NPP government and other stakeholders to give the shea industry the requisite attention it deserved in order for the commodity to attain its proper role in the economic development of the three Northern Regions and Ghana as a whole. She made this call at a three-day Regional Conference on the development of the shea industry organized by the Tung-Teiya Shea Butter Extraction Women's Association (TUSEWA) in the Northern It was aimed to deliberate on issues pertaining to the development of the shea butter industry in the Northern Ghana and to also identify priority areas for intervention by government and other stakeholders and to synthesize regional action plans for future research and development activities.

Madam Anna-Maria indicated that women in the Northern Regions primarily used the few incomes generated from the shea products to raise their families and meet the needs of the household. She however regretted why the production, commercialization and consumption of shea had not yet received the needed attention and assistance in many areas.

According to the NOGCAF Director, the excessive poverty in Northern Ghana was largely due to the fact that the shea nut/butter business was increasingly being abandoned. "It is a fact that when the industry is developed, it will go a long way to make the goal of the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) II and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) be achieved".

The Chairperson of NOGCAF however entreated the participants to come out with a communiqué at the end of the conference that would influence government for proper action on the industry.

The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris through the Deputy Regional Coordinating Director, Abubakari shaibu Abdulai acknowledged the numerous roles TUSEWA and other women related NGOs are playing to ensuring women empowerment and poverty reduction.

According to the Minister, the NPP was fully aware of the enormous potentials in the shea nut industry and was committed to its growth and sustainability, so as to reduce poverty among the women who were the majority in the industry. Mustapha Ali idris challenged the shea dealers to be innovative in making the product more attractive on the local and international markets.

The Chairperson of TUSEWA, Madam Stella Nitori gave a brief history about TUSEWA which she said involved over 400 members who are into shea butter business and other eleven vibrant community groups in five Districts of Northern Ghana.

Madam Nitori mentioned that as part of the association's achievements, TUSEWA had been able to: secure good market for its members, train members in quality control of their products, empower some women groups economically to cater for their wards in school and has also provided some women groups with grinding mills to facilitate their businesses.

However, TUSEWA awarded some beneficiary communities that supported its infrastructural, water and sanitation projects funded by its development partners, "Body Shop".

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