Lack of policy hindering investment in the shea sector – Ambotimah
Wa, Feb. 24, GNA – Mr Agustine Sandow Ambotimah, Coordinator of the Nadowli District Cooperative Farmers, has said absence of a policy to regulate activities of the shea industry is the major hinder to investment in the sector.
He said this during a stakeholders’ forum in Wa.
Mr Ambotimah said other concerns are the absence of a guaranteed price for shea nut, the absence of a Shea Board (SHEABOD) for the industry and the non-enforcement of bush fire by-laws.
He said the objective of the Nadowli District Cooperative Multi-purpose Farmers and Marketing Society Limited was to facilitate the development of a regulatory framework to guide investment in the sector
He said although laudable efforts were being made by the government, COCOBOD and the private sector to create factories to process the nut into butter, the future of the raw material base for this enlargement was limited.
Mr Gabriel Fiatui, a Private sector Advocacy Consultant, said due to the unattractiveness of the sector to investors, the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) was providing support for the private sector to embark on advocacy activities to influence government attention.
He said available records show that only 40 per cent of shea nuts were collected in the country with 60% wasting in the bush.
Mr Fiatui attributed this low collection to a number of constraints including lack of conservation practice, organizational constraints for collectors, limited access to capital for women, lack of farm-to-home carriage as well as low domestic commercial demand.
He appealed to actors in the industry to focus on consensus building as well as galvanizing support from grass roots organisations as well as lobbying District Assemblies and Traditional Rulers for the enhancement of anti bush burning by-laws among others.
Mr Iddi Zakaria, the National Coordinator of Shea Network Ghana (SNG), said through the effort of the Network and other organisations such as SNV, government had established a Shea steering Committee and was looking forward to setting up a SHEABOD.
He also called for the amendment of the Cocoa Act to protect the activities of the industry.