THE shea butter industry in the Central Gonja District in the Northern Region has received a major boost with the inauguration of a shea butter processing centre at Buipe.
Products from the centre would be exported to the Tree of Life, a cosmetic industry in Japan.
The project, estimated at 22O million, was funded by the Farmer-Based Organisation of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA), while the Dew of Charity, a non-governmental organisation operating in the Central Gonja District, supervised the project.
Two hundred and thirty-five members, mainly women of the Abranyo Wale One-stop Centre Association (AWOSCA), a co-operative society in the area, would benefit from the project that has facilities such as a multipurpose resources centre, offices for banking and conferences,
In his inaugural address, the Director of SAN Framework for Technical Collaboration (SAAJFTC), Dr Foster Sakara, entreated the government, civil society and the private sector to provide the necessary facilities and resources to help explore the potential of the shea butter industry in the north.
Dr Sakara observed that shea butter was the only viable agricultural produce in the Sahelian region that needed to be fully developed and urged the government to play a more proactive role in its development.
The Project Manager of Integrated Literacy and Agro-processing Programme, Chief Abdul-Rahim Adam, said the AWOSCA was formed based on the “principle of collective action of aggregation of demand to reduce transaction costs of services needed or provided”.
The Central Gonja District Chief Executive, Mr. Yakubu Zakaria, urged stakeholders in the shea butter industry to support the project to enhance incomes of farmers and thus reduce poverty in the area.