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04.12.2007 General News

Japanese Government Supports Shea Butter Production


The Japanese Government through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Japan Women in Development Fund is supporting shea butter production in the Northern part of the country with over 245, 927 Dollars.

The project which sought to empower rural women and alleviate poverty by strengthening the local shea butter industry in Northern Ghana,' had a two-year duration and was located in Sagnarigu in the Tamale District and Walewale in the West Mamprusi District.

Mr Iddrisu Saddiq, Communications Officer of the UNDP, said this at Sagnarigu and Walewale last Friday, after touring training centres of shea butter production in those areas.

The UNDP in collaboration with Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) AFRASIA and Africa 2000 Network organised the tour.

Mr Saddiq said the project would assist in empowering women in rural communities in the Northern part of the country to increase shea butter production. He said the project would determine marketable quality of shea butter and set up ideal production environment and explore new market for shea butter.

Mr Saddiq said the project would also provide management skills for the women adding that it had funded the production of manual for the training of women's groups. He said an additional funding of US 85, 833 Dollars came from the Japanese Grassroots Grant for Human Security Projects for the construction of shea butter processing centres at Walewale and the expansion of existing facilities at Sagnarigu.

Mr Saddiq said these interventions would assist the women producing shea butter in the two communities produce, store and market high-quality shea butter all year round.

Madam Adisa Lansah Yakubu of Africa 2000 Network, said the project had also organised workshops for the women groups on topics such as costing, pricing, negotiating skills and basic customer relations.

She said with the acquisition of these skills the women were now more confident in dealing with customers as they were equipped with the right information on their cost of production and the prevailing market prices.

Madam Yakubu said the women participated in a local trade fair in Accra where they showcased their products and demonstrated how shea butter was produced to the public to prepare them for international trade fairs next year.