Professor Seidu Al-hassan, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), says Ghana’s Shea industry offers significant opportunity for industrial transformation to sustain economic growth.
He has therefore called for the government to take deliberate steps to improve Shea production.
He added that, already, it had been significantly helping to enhance the living conditions of many.
The Pro-Vice Chancellor said this at the fifth inaugural lecture of UDS, on the topic: “The Shea tree, our heritage: sustaining Ghana’s Shea industry”.
He said the situation where rural households engaged in Shea production had inadequate access to information on quality standards and international market requirements should be tackled.
Prof Al-hassan underlined the need for policy support, structural reforms and strategies to promote the growth of the Shea industry.
The government should take keen interest in Shea production since its flagship policy, “one district one factory”, was aimed at industrial transformation, which would improve the living conditions of the vulnerable groups, including women and the youth.
That was why there should be clear policy and institutional support to direct the operations of the industry to bring economic development.
Prof Al-hassan said it was also vital to provide education and strengthen the entrepreneurial skills of Shea processors to maximize the export potential of Shea butter.