Women in the Garu and Tempane districts have commended World Vision International-Ghana (WVI-G) for establishing Shea projects in the area and targeting women as end users.
The $400,000 project, which has well-equipped Ultra-modern Shea processing centers in three zones including Gagberi, Woyanga and Kpikpira in the two districts, would reduce the hustle the women go through in processing the nuts.
WVI is an international Christian faith-based organization working to improve on the livelihoods of women and children in deprived communities.
The women said before the commissioning of the Shea project in the two districts, they were confronted with number of financial constraints including their inability to perform parental responsibilities such as supporting to feed and providing health and education needs of their families, especially the children.
Organised into Shea Butter producing cooperatives and led by their leaders after a day's Shea butter business forum organized by the WVI-G and sponsored by WVI-Korea at Garu in the Garu district of the Upper East Region, the leadership led by Madam Alimatu Abudulai, told the Ghana News Agency that they were extremely excited with the project.
They said the initiative by WVI has come to alleviate them from their constraints and empowered them financially to take care of their children and other family responsibilities.
The women leaders said women in the area used to leave their families and travel to southern Ghana in search of jobs with their attendant consequences.
They said the project has moved about 85 percent of the rural women in the area into the Shea business and explained that they pick the Shea fruits and process the nuts through the support of the project, which has provided them with well-equipped Ultra-modern Shea processing centers in the three zones within the two districts.
The group leaders said the WVI support has given the women the opportunity to transform Shea butter into products including soap, pomade, cooking oil and detergents which they sell to generate income to support their families.
“We can now support our husbands and contribute to the socio-economic development of the community. We are now financially independent”.
Mr Timothy Aman-Bey Akanpanbadia Manager at WVI-G for the Northern Sector, said the project has so far recruited about 200 women for each center well-equipped with the necessary tools including processing machines, solar-powered mechanized boreholes to help them increase productivity in the Shea butter business in the area.
Mr Akanpanbadia said the project, which has been running for four years, has so far spent over $400,000 and it is focused on helping women to produce the Shea with modern technology for quality products.
He said the project was focused on empowering women to support their households and communities, adding that this objective would enable the women to access quality healthcare and education for their families.
Mr Emmanuel Avoka Asore, District Chief Executive (DCE) for Garu, said the government is committed to supporting the Shea business by providing storage facilities which is part of the “one district, one warehouse” policy