The Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC), a nationwide advocacy organisation, striving for agriculture and trade justice, has embarked on a process of mobilising sheanut and sheabutter producers into clusters.
The exercise, which would enable the sheanut and sheabutter producers to take advantage of the prospects in the sector, took the GTLC team to districts and metropolitan assemblies in the three northern regions, including the Sissala East in the Upper West Region, the Talensi-Nabdam in the Upper East Region and the Tamale Metropolitan and Yendi of the Northern Region.
Mr Ibrahim Akalbila, Coordinator of the GTLC, said the team had series of discussions in connection with the challenges and identification of the prospects and opportunities therein.
He said the focus of the engagements was on strengthening and empowering the women groups to better understand the relevance of collective action in enhancing their businesses.
“It is the imperative and inevitable need for the individual members to work as a group in not only finding solutions to the challenges confronting them but also be in a position to identify and take advantage of the prospects in the sector,” Mr Akalbila said.
The GTLC extensive research dubbed “Harnessing Shea Wealth through Cluster Initiatives” identified critical issues necessary for transforming the shea industry into a profitable one.
The factors include appropriate infrastructure, use of modern technology, resource availability (shea tree) and access to credit; demand conditions; competition; as well as supporting private and public sector institutions and agencies.
Mr Akalbila, Coordinator of GTLC said the groups were far advanced in the process of developing a medium to long term strategy for domesticating the shea resource.
“This is the start of series of actions toward the realisation of the objective,” he said. “When this is done, the overbearing challenges confronting women groups in the shea business, including obsolete picking equipment, manual processing equipment, ‘head pottering’, depleting stocks, as well as attacks by wild animals and reptiles are expected to be addressed,” Mr Akalbila added.
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