The Sunbawiera Sheanuts and Sheabutter Producers Association at Kperisi, a farming community in the Wa Municipality, has appealed to government to assist them maintain a fair and stable price.
They said with a good price from the purchasing companies, farmers of sheanut would be able to cultivate large plantation, which in no doubt would contribute significantly to the growth of the economy in terms of job creation and increase in income levels.
The Association made the appeal at a forum at Kperisi last Wednesday to discuss ways of improving the quality of sheanuts and sheabutter packaging for the market.
They said the current price of GH˘20 per 85 kilogrammes of the crop was too low and did not give farmers the motivation to invest in it as a cash crop taking into consideration risks like snake bites that went with sheanut picking (harvesting).
Alhaji Iddrisu Adams, a member of the Association said hitherto, people destroyed their shea trees for other farming activities and charcoal production, but now many had now seen its economic importance.
“We have now made it an offence for anybody to cut a shea tree and if the government takes keen interest in the development of the sector, we shall also reciprocate by establishing shea plantations”, he stated.
Madam Araba Abu, a spokeswoman for the Association urged government not to renege in its plan to establish an Authority to oversee the regulation of the shea nut sector.
She appealed further to the government to supply farmers with Wellington boots, gloves and tarpaulins to facilitate their work.
Alhaji Imoru Ayittey, Chairman of the Association said sheanut and sheabutter producers were poor and vulnerable and therefore if the sector was given serious attention, their circumstances would change for the better.
Mr Haruna Morrie, Upper West Region Trade and Industry officer, said government was studying a proposal submitted to it by Association to see how best the sector could be supported.
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