Government in collaboration with the African Development Bank and the Rural Enterprise Programme will establish four new modern shea butter processing facilities in the country before the year 2019 ends.
This was disclosed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The initiative will fall under governments one district, one factory programme.
According to a study by LMC International, shea exports have increased from fifty thousand metric tons to more than 350 thousand metric tons annually over the last 20 years.
The growth is due to increased utilization of shea in global food and cosmetic markets. The increased exports are delivering every year 200 million USD in direct and indirect income for shea producing communities.
Ghana currently has 5 shea processing factories with over 150 thousand metric tons in installed capacity.
Speaking at the 12th International Shea Conference in Accra, Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyremateng said government will continue to roll out initiatives that will make Ghana a leader in shea production.
“Government in collaboration with the African Development Bank and the Rural Enterprise Programme will be establishing 4 new modern processing facilities under the one district, one factory initiative”, he stated.
He added “The facilities will be owned and managed by organized youth groups as part of the Enable Youth programme”.
Meanwhile the US Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie Sullivan has assured of the US’ commitment to increase investments into Ghana’s shea industry.
This comes even as the US agency for International Development has over the few years supported the shea industry in West Africa with over 100 million U S dollars and 73 warehouses of which Ghana has 34.
“The US government understands the importance of the shea industry in Ghana in terms of the economic benefit to the country and the support it gives to the families and communities involved in its production and we will continue to support the sector, ” she said.