Ghana Plans Fixed Prices for Shea-Tree Nuts to Boost Farmers' Collection
Ghana will start fixing prices for shea nuts by forming a development board next year, in a bid to encourage farmers to increase collection, Vice President John Mahama told a conference in Accra, the capital, today.
While he didn’t say what the price would be, Mahama said the move to regulate the industry, which is dominated by women in the north of the West African nation, will give the farmers “adequate compensation.”
Ghana, the world’s second-largest cocoa producer after Ivory Coast, collects just 30 percent of the shea nuts grown in the country, or 45,000 metric tons each year, said Joseph Samuel Annan, deputy minister of trade and industry. About 9,000 women are involved in shea harvesting, which earned $30 million in 2010, he said.
The nuts of the shea tree, which grows across the arid Sahel region, are picked and processed into butter that is used in cosmetics and food. Global exports of shea nuts and butter increased in value to more than $120 million in 2010, from a $10 million a decade earlier, the U.S. Agency for International Development said in a statement handed to reporters at the conference.
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