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Shea-nut producers benefit from $ 80,000 facility

2009-09-08 21:31:55
This article has been read 1154 times.

Shea-nut producers at Pusu-Namongo in the Talensi Nabdam District of the Upper East Region are to benefit from an estimated US $ 80,000 factory to improve on shea-butter processing in the region.

Trade Akoma Ghana, in collaboration with Akoma International, a United Kingdom-based organisation founded by Mr Angus Klufio, has put up a factory that has the capacity to produce eight metric tonnes of shea-butter a day and two warehouses capable of holding 6,000 bags of sea-nuts each at Pusu-Namongo.

Mr Micheal Addo, contact person for purchase in the Upper East Region indicated that the organisation had formed a co-operative society among shea-butter processors on how to pick, store and process shea-nut into butter to meet international standards.

He said due to the disorganised nature of the women who were already involved in the industry, Trade Akoma decided to group and build their capacities on how to pick and process shea-butter.

Mr Addo stated that Trade Akoma specialised in the production of shea-butter from the nuts was registered as co-operative organisation and also certified as fair trade producer of shea butter.

He said Akoma Co-operative Multipurpose Society has gained fair-trade fair trade certification with Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO) of Germany, adding that they also gained organic certification with Soil Association in the United Kingdom, making the organisation the first and the only company in Ghana at present with these two certificates at the same time.

Mr Addo said their driving force for choosing Pusu-Namongo was due to the poverty level of the community in particular and the region, which has 70 per cent of its inhabitants engaged in peasant farming and majority of women gathering shea nut in the wild,

"The cooperative believes that with the higher prices and shea butter on the world market, the future of marginalised women and their families could change if plans are put in place to diversify their efforts in the shea processing", Mr Addo added.

He also hinted they had earmarked the renovation of the Pusu-Namongo Primary school currently in a dilapidated condition to improve the educational needs of children in the community.

The leader of the women’s group at Pusu Namongo, Madam Juliana Sampana, lauded the intervention of the organisation which she said had brought some relief to the women.

source: ghanadistricts.com

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