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Foreign Companies Patronize Economic Tree Products   
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The demand for economic tree products in the Upper East Region is increasing in the country and on the international market and that is attracting some companies to the area.

The baobab, shea and dawadawa trees are among such lucrative trees that produce highly nutritious food that companies abroad are adding value to.

The baobab fruit for instance has powder which is used in drinks and contain minerals and vitamins and the seeds are used for the production of oil which is edible and also used to make perfume and pomade. 

The oil replenishes body cells and makes people look younger. The Baobab leaves, used as a soup thickener, are rich in vitamins and irons which is very good for children, the aged and sick people.

Through the instrumentality of the Organization for Indigenous Initiatives and Sustainability (ORGII), an NGO, some women have been trained to extract the baobab powder.

It is bought in large quantities by the Savannah Fruits based in Tamale for a UK based company for export.

The women also gather the seed which is used to manufacture oil by a company in France.

Speaking to the GNA at the project site at Paga the Coordinator of ORGIIS, Mr Julius Awaregya who is facilitating the project, said if the government and the private sector paid attention to non-timber forest products such as the   baobab tree, dawada, temra, hamarabic among others as Burkina Faso was doing , it would not only help address the unemployment challenges but would also help the country to earn foreign exchange.

“The Burkina Faso Government has created a full Ministry for Non-Timber products which does not only create foreign exchange for it but helps create more jobs for the people in that country. This is a lesson for Ghana to emulate. The baobab is rich in vitamins and irons which is very good for children, aged and sick people,” he said.

Mr Awaregya said about 100 women were working under the bproject in the Kassena Nankana District.

He said recent discoveries of the uses of the baobab had shown that it had a highly nutritious fruit with applications in a wide variety of food and drink formulations.

These include smoothies, juice drinks, cereals, bars and snacks, ice cream, yoghurts, oil dairy desserts, jams, sauces, marinades and specialty tees.

He said the tree, which is drought tolerant and can resist severe drought except bushfires, are grown in the Central, Volta, Northern, Upper West and Upper East regions.

Mrs  Aongba Kudara, a 38-year-old woman who spoke on behalf of her colleagues  said most of them who  could not cater for the education of their children could now do that through the Boabab Project.
Source: GNA

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