By Albert Futukpor
Sagnarigu (N/R), March 14, GNA – Officials from the Australian High Commission in Accra have paid a visit to beneficiary women-owned shea butter processing groups in the Northern Region to ascertain how the support they have received is impacting their operations.
Through the Australian High Commission’s Direct Aid, some six women-owned shea butter processing groups, comprising of 25 members in each group in the Sagnarigu Municipality of the Northern Region, received support in 2022, leading to enhanced production and improved income levels of the women.
The beneficiary groups had received production kits such as roasters, basins, buckets, boiling pots, and water storage tanks, as well as training on quality production, packaging, marketing, and raising campaigns for the recognition of the rights of women and girls.
The visiting delegation was accompanied by other officials from the Children Believe, an international child-centred non-governmental organisation, and its local implementing partner organisation; and Markaz-Al-Bishara Child Development Programme (MABCDP).
Madam Zakaria Adam Laceera Patience, the Secretary of Yumzaa Women Association at Tampe-Kukuo, said, “the support has turned around our operations. We used to process two tonnes a day. Since we received the equipment, we have increased to four to five tonnes per day.”
This, she said, had improved their income to support their children’s education to keep them in school and commit to other household needs.
“Our young girls do not travel down south for kayaye because they know that we have the equipment here to work,” she said.
Madam Sana Mohammed, the Leader of Kpagmang Ka Wunisog Shea Butter Processing Group, said the support enabled them to increase their production and improve the quality of their products.
Harriet Williams, the Second Secretary at the Australian High Commission, after the tour of the production plants of the shea processors, and listening to the testimonies of the beneficiary women, said she was impressed about the turnaround of their operations.
She said, “it is fantastic how they have used the support we have given them,” and commended the efforts of the women to help others in their communities to learn skills and processes to empower themselves.
She expressed the hope that the women would spread their wealth of knowledge for the benefit of more women and urged them to make the best out of their investments.
The delegation later paid a courtesy call on the Northern Regional Minister in Tamale to brief him about their operations in the region.
Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister, expressed gratitude for the support offered to the women shea processors, but appealed for further assistance to expand their operations for the benefit of other women’s groups within the community.