Ghana’s shea industry is to receive a major boost as the Ghana Export and Import Bank (EXIM Bank) has committed GH₵9.2 million for the processing of Shea into cosmetic products and also for large-scale export.
Deputy Manager and Director for communications at EXIM Bank, Richard Osei Anane said the bank is committed to enhancing the growth of the shea industry in Ghana.
“We have come to realize that in the three Northern regions, the shea nut industry is very thriving and therefore the bank has decided to come out with a project which is the Shea Empowerment Initiative with an amount of more than nine million Ghana cedis to support the capacity building and financing of the women in that industry from the picking, processing and export,” he disclosed to JoyBusiness.
According to the bank, the investment should translate into the creation of 300 direct jobs.
As of 2017, Ghana earned $70.2 million from the export of shea butter products.
Within the agricultural subsector, shea nut was the second highest export earner with 34 million dollars in 2015; behind cashew nut.
Reports from COCOBOD shows that out of the 200 million-dollar profits recorded by shea in 2017, Ghana was able to rake in $70 million.
Shea products are the second non-traditional food crop in Ghana with over 300,000 farmers benefiting from the entire food chain.
The shea nut industry offers employment for many individuals in Northern Ghana, particularly women in rural communities who are involved in all of its value chain processes.
Following the decrease in the yields, the price for the nuts has gone up as many of the shea nuts pickers comb many bushes, which hitherto were known places for shea nuts but are unable to get the nuts.
Similarly, many of the shea nut processors are unable to get access to the nuts to process.