More than 250 businesses in the three northern regions have been provided with financial support under the Presidential Business Support Programme (PBSP).

The beneficiary businesses were competitively selected through the recommendations of the Private Incubation Hubs in a transparent, efficient and equitable manner.

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has stated that sheanut tree can be grown on commercial basis in the country’s savanna regions in much the same way as how cocoa, rubber and other cash crops are cultivated on plantations.

A memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the government and the China Civil Engineers Construction Corporation (CCECC) for the construction of the Kumasi to the north section of the country’s railway project.

Government has said it is implementing a road map toward the establishment of a Development Board by 2024 to help revamp the shea industry.

Deputy Food and Agriculture Minister, Kennedy Nyarko Osei, told Parliament that the roadmap consists of three key milestones.

It includes establishment of the Shea Unit and National Steering Committee on Shea, and the graduation of the Shea Unit to a subsidiary status by end of 2019 as a semi-autonomous institution under the COCOBOD, but with an increasingly independent source or stream of funding.

Then the subsidiary will be converted into a Board, after a guaranteed self-funding scheme is put in place.

According to the Deputy Minister, the first stage has been completed – the Shea Unit being created, with an office in Accra, and the National Steering Committee on Shea also established.

The Shea Unit has opened a branch office in Tamale and is well on course to open another office at Wa in the Upper West Region, he explained.

The Shea Unit, together with the National Steering Committee, formulated a 15-year development strategy called the Shea Development Strategy (SHEDS 2014-2030), which will serve as the blueprint for implementation of programmes to develop the Shea sector.

The minister also stated that COCOBOD is expected to present the document through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to Cabinet in August 2018.

The core areas of the policy document include: research, extension, plantation development and conservation, strategic stakeholder partnerships and product development, marketing and quality standards.

COCOBOD is also expected to move the head office of the Shea Unit to Tamale in 2019, to begin full operations as a Subsidiary drawing on other sources of funding outside COCOBOD.

“The Subsidiary will also generate revenue from its operations, and by 2024 become adequately equipped to operate as a full-fledged Shea Development Board, as laid out in the roadmap,” he added.

The roadmap and the Shea Development Strategy were formulated with inputs from relevant stakeholders in the Shea value chain, he said.

The Korean government is ready to share its development experience in the cooperative system to help improve the livelihood of Ghanaians.

 The Korean Ambassador to Ghana, Sungson Kim stated this at the launch of a 6.18 million dollar project aimed at strengthening farmer cooperatives in Tamale in the Northern Region here yesterday.

 The project seeks to improve the livelihood of the rural farmers and is being funded by Korean government under the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

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