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Ghana: Private Sector urged to support rural SMEsMonday, July 21, 2014 > 08:38:52
Mr Dan Makandan, Mion District Chief Executive Officer (DCE), has called on the private sector to pay more attention to rural Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to reduce poverty.
He said there is the need for stakeholders to collaborate effectively with District Assemblies, to promote economic activities that would improve livelihoods of the people.
Mr Makandan made the call at Sang in the Mion district at an inception meeting of shea butter production, organised by the Ghana Trade and Livelihoods Coalition (GTLC), a non-governmental organization, in the Northern region.
The meeting was to discuss business plans on shea butter processing and production within the district, especially in the Sakpei community.
Mr Makandan indicated that the Mion District Assembly had started enrolling rural enterprises for the programme to reduce unemployment, and appealed to players in the private sector to develop interest in investing in the rural areas.
He said the Assembly had supported Business Advisory Centre, an organisation, to train people who were into agro processing and agro industrial activities in the Mion district.
The people were trained in shea butter production, rice processing, soap making, batik tie and dye, meat processing, yam cultivation and ruminant rearing.
Mr Ibrahim Akalbila, Coordinator of GTLC, said the shea butter production project was to provide adequate financial, infrastructural and technical support to groups of shea butter producers in the Upper East, Upper West and the Northern Regions.
He said the project was to improve the quality of shea nuts and shea butter to capture the premium price for processed butter within the local and international markets.
According to him, the shea nut processing programme would run concurrently with development of plantations in the three Northern Regions, with the medium to long term objective of securing the supply of quality nuts for sustainable production of shea butter.
The project would be expanded to 17 districts in the three Northern Regions after the first phase.
The GTLC would supply equipment such as Boilers, Gas stoves with Cylinders, construct storage facilities, brick solar driers, drying platforms, and supply jute sacks for the shea nut producers.