GHANA – Ghana will host the 12th international conference on Shea which will bring together global stakeholders along the shea value chain in a bid to improve the commodity’s space in the global cash crops sector.
The event to be held in the country’s capital, Accra, will run from March 11 to 13 this year under the theme ‘Unveiling the value of shea’ will offer opportunities for showcasing developments and technologies along the shea value chain.
The conference also aim at sharing information and creating a platform to network and connect stakeholders in the shea value chain.
Mr Zakaria Iddi, National Coordinator of Shea Network Ghana (SNG), said that the event comes amid the country’s efforts to reposition itself as a major player in the shea value chain which has seen it host the conference for the fourth time.
Mr Zakaria appealed for listing of the cash crop under the Economic Plants Protection Act NRCD 47, which currently applied to only cocoa, as an additional incentive to the crops value chain.
“For the rest of our generations to come, shea will continue to have greater impact on the income security of rural women in particular and the sector’s key challenges need attention and policy action,” he added.
According to Mr Prince Obeng, Executive Council Member, Global Shea Alliance (GSA), the annual exports of shea from the country in 2016 stood at 59,500 metric tons, equivalent to US$17 million direct incomes for shea collectors and US$8 million for the shea growing communities.
Mr Obeng, who is also Board Chairman of SNG, revealed that the country has also embarked on training programme that has seen over 28,000 women trained in shea processing.
In August 2018, the government cocoa regulatory agency, Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) opened a Shea Unit Office in Tamale region to serve as an operational secretariat to develop the industry through supply chain in the region.
The government also unveiled plans of setting up a Shea Development Board by 2024 in a bid to transition the shea unit and a way forward for revamping the shea industry in the country.
The Event will be hosted and jointly organised by the Global Shea Alliance (GSA) and Shea Network Ghana (SNG), with support from the EXIM Bank Ghana.
GSA was established in 2011 to help build a more competitive, sustainable, and profitable shea industry and currently serves 400 members from around the world.