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Government has plans to improve shea industry- Director at Sheanut Ghana


Director at Sheanut Ghana Iddi Zakaria reveals government as part of improving the country’s economy has set up the Ghana Tree Crop Development Authority to regulate cash crops in the country. The authority he says will regulate crops such as shea, cashew, oil palm, mango, guava and other long traditional crops.
He said the authority was set up under the Planting for Export and Rural Development with board members, of which shea has about four representatives. The board according to him, started operation in November last year with the aim of improving the shea industry.
Generally, as the Ghana COCOBOD does in the cocoa sector, the Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA) is now the body in charge of the regulation and development of production, processing, trading, and marketing of six tree crops in Ghana.
It is a body established by an Act of Parliament, the Tree Crops Development Authority Act 2019 (Act 1010), as a regulatory structure for the six tree crops: Cashew, Shea, Mango, Coconut, rubber, and oil palm in Ghana. The Global Shea Alliance (GSA) estimates that more than 16 million rural women in Africa contribute to their household incomes by collecting and processing shea kernel.
It has therefore become very necessary that the tree crops industry is properly developed and regulated in Africa. Mr Iddi made this known in an interview with Zaa news.
Mr Iddi says the authority is mapping out strategies to improve the living condition of shea industry players. He said government is also aiming at putting shea on a global market to make it a global commodity for use.
Shea trees provide a vital source of income and food and help to protect and restore the environment, allowing communities to grow their way out of poverty and build their resilience to a climate in crisis.
The most important product obtained from the shea tree is the shea fruit which contains between 20% to 50% edible fat. The tree is also a very important component of the natural ecological system. It is a deciduous tree which grows wild in the savanna regions. The shea tree can survive on minimal annual rainfall. But the shea tree which served as a major source of livelihood for the rural population, particularly women, had been under attack by charcoal burners in recent times as they cut down the trees indiscriminately to burn charcoal for commercial purposes. He however said pragmatic measures have been put in place to deal with perpetrators of the act.
By: Lilian D. Walter/zaanews/Ghana

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