Alhaji Imoro Issifu Alhassan, Northern Regional Chief Farmer of the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Shea nut farmers Association has called on government to address the challenges in the shea nut industry.
This, he said is the means of alleviating poverty in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
He said the shea industry has the potential of addressing endemic poverty especially among women if government and its development partners pay maximum attention to address challenges in the sector.
Alhaji Alhassan told the GNA in Tamale after an end of year meeting with district chief farmers from the region that the shea nut tree is the only economic benefit for the people of the north.
“I must first of all commend the government for directing the COCOBOD to create the shea unit as part of its administration to be solely in charge of the shea sector”.
He said it is unfortunate that some people are calling for the decoupling of the shea sector from COCOBOD, which he described as suicidal if the COCOBOD should wash its hands off the shea sector.
He explained that the Shea Development Strategy (SHEDS, 2015-2030) is developed as a strategy of government through the COCOBOD to give clear direction for the development of the shea sector.
He explained that the sector would collapse permanently if COCOBOD decouples itself.
Alhaji Alhassan said government should also form the National Steering Committee on Shea (NSCS) to among other things provide the necessary governance framework for the shea unit.
He appealed to COCOBOD to fast track the legislation of the Shea Development Strategy so as to give clear regulation in the shea sector.
Alhaji Alhassan said COCOBOD to ignore the calls to decouple the shea unit from the board.
He said: “It is just premature for COCOBOD to take its hands off the shea sector.”