The United States Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Global Shea Alliance (GSA), have launched the Action for Shea Parklands (ASP) initiative, under which 20,000 shea trees will be planted in Ghana this year.
Spearheaded by GSA, the initiative seeks to promote, plant, and protect the shea parklands while advancing a shea industry commitment to plant 10 million trees across West Africa over the next 10 years. Ghana’s 20,000 trees for 2020 will be planted across the five Northern Regions.
To commemorate the launch, the US Embassy, in a press release said, Ambassador Stephanie S. Sullivan joined members of the Global Shea Alliance and women shea cooperative leaders to plant 50 shea seedlings in seedling bags. These would be transported to the Northern Region of Ghana for planting during the 2021 shea season.
Ambassador Sullivan, the release said, commended the project’s partners, stating, the initiative, highlighted the importance of bolstering women’s economic development activities in Ghana.
Shea is a primary source of livelihood for women living in northern Ghana. Togo and Benin, the release said, were also pilot countries for the ASP initiative. In partnership with USAID, GSA is leading the industry’s sustainability effort.
To date, the release said, 100,000 seedlings had been raised and 8,000 shea trees planted with private sector funding under the USAID-funded “Sustainable Shea Initiative” (SSI), a public-private partnership with GSA.
“The SSI is an $18 million, five-year program that promotes the sustainable expansion of the shea industry in Ghana, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Mali, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso as well as increases the incomes of rural women, who form the backbone of the industry, ” the release explained.
Story by: Nelson Adanuti Nyadror