The Nandom Municipal Assembly together with the Cocoa Research Institute has established a shea seedling nursery. The seedling nursery is located at Kokoligu in the Upper West. The shea seedlings have a growth period of between 3 and 4 years. It is the hope of authorities that the seddlings when mature will be distributed to farmers.
The MCE for Nandom, Thaddeus Arkum Aasoglenang said the nursery is part of a bigger program for a shea butter processing factory to be setup in Nandom to improve on the production of shea in the municipality under government’s One District One Factory. Speaking to Radio Waa News, Mr Aasoglenang said the shea plantations will ensure that the processing factory does not run out of raw material when production begins.
The Nandom Municipality is one of the many areas in Upper West Region that produces a lot of shea butter and other shea products. In the Municipality women are put in cooperatives. These cooperatives are scattered across the Municipality. The women are able to make these products by gathering shea nuts from wild shea trees. According to the MCE for Nandom, Thaddeus Arkum Aasoglenang relying on shea nuts from wild trees for processing at a factory is highly unsustainable thus the need for shea farms.
He said in 2018, the Nandom Assembly together with some private investors begun drawing plans for the establishment of a shea processing factory. Mr Aasoglenang said to satisfy first the issue of adequate raw materials, shea seedlings are being nursed at Kokoligu for later distribution to farmers. A total of 22 thousand seedlings are expected to be distributed to farmers.
“Because we have the interest in coming out with a factory, we have had a partnership with the Cocoa Research Institute and have established a shea seedling nursery in Kokoligu. As at now, the women have potted several shea nut seedlings and when they mature we will give to farmers to farm,” he said.
The MCE stressed that the factory is essential because “we want to ensure that the raw material is available all year round. Even though we have the shea trees they are in the wild and we cannot guarantee they will be available all year”.
The MCE Mr Aasoglenang said the Nandom Assembly is not only focusing on the establishment of shea plantation. He said under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), cashew seedlings have been distributed to farmers.
The Nandom District Director of Agriculture, Gaeten Baligi said more than 71 thousand of cashew seedlings have been distributed to farmers this year. Mr Baligi said plans are far advanced for mangoes to be included under the Planting for Export and Rural Development PERD.
He said the only reason why the mango was added this was because the supplier delayed in supply the mango seedlings. The Director of Agriculture said mini factories for the processing of all cash crop fruits into processed products for sale are in the offing.
The Nandom District Director of Agriculture, Gaeten Baligi assured of rigorous monitoring to ensure the survival of the distributed seedlings.