Cocobod CEO Joseph Boahen Aidoo
The Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (GRIG) has made a major breakthrough in the production of shea nuts.
Researchers at the Institute, which has centres in Tafo in the Eastern Region and Bole in the Northern Region, have managed to develop a way of growing and harvesting shea nuts used in the production of shea butter within three years.
Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod), Joseph Boahen Aidoo, disclosed this to the leadership of the Cocoa, Coffee and Shea Butter Farmers Association in Accra recently.
Previously, it took about 15 years before one could grow and harvest shea nuts even though it mostly grew by itself mostly in the northern part of the country.
The meeting was the first by a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cocobod with executives of the Cocoa, Coffee and Shea Butter Farmers Association.
Mr Aidoo tasked CRIG, a subsidiary of the Cocobod, to further its research and possibly reduce the time to one year.
He also talked of plans by government to increase the production of cocoa and coffee in the country.
National Chief farmer, Alhaji Alhassan Bukari, on his part, expressed gratitude to the CEO for his genuine interest in the cocoa, coffee and the shea butter industry by engaging them.
He indicated that interventions such as nationwide pruning, hand pollination, as well as irrigation had brought major improvement in the agric sector.
“We can only hope and pray that we shall have you around for a long time to benefit from your ideas and enthusiasm,” Alhaji Bukari said.
He further stated that they were aware of the challenges the industry faces in relation to slump in the price of cocoa.
He was of the view that if farmers embrace the intervention and work with it, they would be able to improve their lives despite the fall in the price of cocoa, adding that the interventions had significantly improved productivity per hectare.