As part of ongoing efforts to ensure that shea industry will continue to improve on the livelihood of the people across 21 African countries, Vice President of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has said $65.5 million is expected to be raised from public and private sources to implement the Action on Shea Parkland.
A statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the National Shea Producers Association of Nigeria (NASPAN), Hon Abubukar Bagudu Kalgo, in Birnin Kebbi recently, stated that the Parkland Restoration Fund (PRF) was launched in Ghana with the aim of promoting shea parklands across the African content, adding that the PRF was to stretch from Senegal to South Sudan.
“The PRF is expected to raise $65.5 million from public and private sources to implement the Action for Shea Parklands – an initiative to grow 10 million shea trees and protect 4 million hectares of shea parklands,” he added.
“Recalling the very important economic and cultural roles played by the shea tree in the lives of the people of Africa and the world, particularly in rural areas,” he said.
Dr Bawumia expressed worry about the felling of shea trees and the destruction of shea parklands.
He said: “I am informed by industry experts that she is a big sequester of carbon, saving the ecosystem in the environment where they grow.
“Despite this important role, it is sad to see trees cut down for various reasons such as charcoal for household fuel. Shea trees take at least 20 years to mature. Cutting down one shea tree means destroying many years of work done.”
He entreated the Global Shea Alliance (GSA) to continue engaging stakeholders, including government regulatory authorities, local chiefs, landowners, women collectors, communities and the private sector to achieve the objectives of the Action for Shea Parkland.