An International Development Organization in Northern Ghana, Tree Aid, has commissioned and handed over three shea butter processing centres to women groups in the Kassena-Nankana area of the Upper East Region.
The NGO under its ‘Grow Hope Project’ supported the women groups who started the construction of the processing centres.
The organization, completed the centre as well as installing the necessary equipment to aid in the processing of quality shea butter.
The beneficiary communities are Nyangua and Biu in the Kassena-Nankana Municipal and Chiana-Abolo in the Kassena-Nankana West District.
The project, which started in 2018 was being facilitated by Organization for Indigenous Initiatives and Sustainability (ORGIIS), a local NGO which focuses on the environment. It is financially supported from the Jersey Overseas Aid, another NGO.
Speaking at the separate commissioning of the projects, Mr Jonathan A. Naaba, the Country Programmes Manager, Tree Aid, explained that while the women groups begun the construction of the processing centres, Tree Aid provided and installed all the necessary processing machinery including crashers, kneaders, miller, roasters, accessories and motors for the powering of the equipment.
According to Mr Naaba said the equipment amounted to GHC108,000.00.
Also, Tree Aid contributed 50 percent of the cost of extending electricity to the facilities, while the Assemblies paid the remaining 50 percent.
Giving the background of the project, the Country Programmes Manager explained that the Grow Hope Project, aimed at improving livelihoods and increasing household income from sustainable forest product supplies for 1,508 rural households targeting about 8,218 people while reducing the threat to the ecosystems across the two districts.
“The project seeks to reach this goal through the development of viable non-timber forest product (NTFP) enterprises and cooperatives; through sustainable NTFP utilisation, firewood management and the increase of tree cover on farmland. The project seeks to help vulnerable rural communities to take fuller advantage of opportunities for commercial trade in NTFPs whilst protecting forest resources,” he added.
The Programmes Manager, ORGIIS Ghana, Mr Clifford Amoah Adagenera, noted that over the years, ORGIIS in collaboration with Tree Aid and its partners had built the capacities of the women to take advantage of the potentials of economic trees to improve their livelihoods and reduce poverty.
Mr Adagenera expressed optimism that the processing centres would help the women increase production and meet market demand both in supply and quality and promised to continue to provide market links to their products.
Development Planning Officer of the Kassena-Nankana Municipal Assembly, Mr Alhassan Abdul-Baqi, who spoke on behalf of Mr William Aduum, the Municipal Chief Executive, encouraged the women to maintain the machines to keep them in shape for continuous production.
Madam Mary Baduriwo, a Member of the Buru Cooperative Union of the Nyangua Community, expressed gratitude to ORGIIS Ghana, Tree Aid and its partners for the support and pledged to use the facilities to increase productivity.