GHANA – Ghana has inaugurated a new shea processing plant and warehouse facility in Kumbungu District in the Northern Region of the country to facilitate increased production of the commodity.

A report by GhanaNewsAgency, reveals that the new centre was established by the Presbyterian Agricultural Services, in partnership with the government and Global Shea Alliance (GSA) as part of the Sustainable Shea Initiative (SSI) project.

Other partners in the project include the Perfectly Posh and Savanna Fruits Company with support from the United States government through United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Speaking during the inauguration of the facility, Ms Stephanie S. Sullivan, the United States Ambassador to Ghana, said that the centre was one of the 34 processing centres and warehouses project the USAID and GSA had launched with cooperatives across the country over the past three years.

She noted that upon completion of the entire project, it is expected to benefit about 30,000 women involved in the collection and processing of the shea in beneficiary communities.

Amb. Sullivan noted that the initiative was also to support President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision of promoting “Ghana Beyond Aid” through a sustainable partnership between Ghanaian and US businesses and entrepreneurs.

The ambassador further expressed the hope that the facility would help to develop the shea industry in the area to improve on the welfare of women as she also pledged the United States continued support to Ghana.

“This event highlights efforts to promote women’s economic empowerment through partnerships that connect Ghanaian women producers with U.S. buyers.

The United States supports key projects like this to promote economic growth and job creation in Ghana so that young people may build a future of prosperity here at home for the benefit of all citizens and their communities,” she said.

About 600 women engaged in the collection of shea nuts in Gizaa Gundaa in the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region have been provided with a processing centre and a warehouse to enable them to increase their production and incomes.

The new facility will help women in the region who have previously relied on the cumbersome traditional methods of processing the raw shea into butter that often led to low output and revenues.

The SSI project, launched in 2016 by USAID in partnership with the GSA, is an US$18 million, five-year partnership to promote the sustainable expansion of the shea industry in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Togo, and Burkina Faso.