Vice President John Dramani Mahama yesterday inaugurated an ultra-modern Shea- butter factory at Buipe in the Central Gonja District of the Northern Region.
The factory established with a GH¢30-million loan facility, is to boost the sheanut industry which is a major employment opportunity for many women in the northern part of the country.
Inaugurating it, the Vice President said the factory would not only add value to sheanut, but also provide job avenues for many people especially women in the area.
He said the government had initiated various programmes aimed at improving the sheanut industry which would go a long to improve the lives of n northern Ghana women.
The Vice-President said available reports had indicated that that more women in the northern parts of the country were the poorest and mostly engaged in sheanut industry and noted that by improving on the industry, their livelihood and status would be enhanced.
He said the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority in collaboration with the Produce Buying Company (PBC) would provide tricycles, Wellington boots and gloves to all sheanut pickers.
Vice-President Mahama said the area would benefit a lot from the factory and factories yet to be established and therefore appealed to the chiefs and all the people in the area to learn to adopt dialogue to resolve their differences instead of resorting to violence.
“Let us learn to settle chieftaincy disputes amicably and not to resort to litigation which would end up retarding the development process” he said.
Madam Irene Vida Gala, Brazilian Ambassador to Ghana, said the establishment of the factory in Buipe would further strengthen the relations between Ghana and Brazil.
She added that factory would also ensure food security in the northern part of the country in particular and country as whole.
Mr Kojo Atta-Krah, Managing Director of PBC Limited, said apart from investing in the Shea factory, his outfit would also provide 120,000 litres of treated water to the Buipe community as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility.
He said the management of the company had also constructed residential accommodation for all the workers who would not need to travel long journeys to and from work in the centre.
He said the PBC had already secure a ready market for the product in Brazil and would search other market centres in other parts of the world
Mr Atta-Krah said, PBC would also collaborate with the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority to provide tricycles and other logistics for the collection of shea nuts from the farms to the factory and marketing centres.
Mr Moses Bukari Mabengba, Northern Regional Minister, appealed to the authorities of the PBC to institute a scholarship for wards of the workers and beneficiary communities, just as it had provided for wards of cocoa farmers over the years.
The three Northern Regional Ministers and Minister of Land and Forestry Mike Hammah were among other dignitaries who witness the commissioning of the factory.