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Worry over establishment of shea plantations in Northern ecological zone

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The Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye, has expressed fears over the establishment of Shea plantations in the Northern Ecological Zone.
 
He said the land tenure system in the area is communal and therefore will not permit such a project.
 
“Our farming system is a communal land, you can farm here, next year I will also farm there, if you go and put shea trees there, and they say it is for you, it means I can no longer farm there. If I want to farm there, I will set fire to the trees to die, so that I can also use the land, that’s what they’ve been doing to the mango plantations”, he explained.
 
There are concerns about a rapid decline in the population of Shea trees which grows wildly across the northern part of the country.
 
Most women in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions pick shea nuts for their livelihoods. However, in recent times, the tree has suffered severe exploitation for
charcoal and fuel wood.
 
Some experts now believe establishing shea plantations are the surest way to address the depleting population.
 
Speaking at a Regional Knowledge Dissemination workshop organized by the World Bank in Nayankpala in the Northern Region, Professor Teye, emphasized that, protecting wild shea trees is the solution.
“There should be a way of protecting the trees, not to cut it, everybody knows that this tree belongs to everybody, you can go and pick the nuts at any time. But when it becomes my farm and the rest of the community cannot come there, they will not allow it to survive, it happened to mango plantations, every year they get burnt, and finally they’ve abandoned them” he observed.
 
The two day workshop is on the theme “Shea parklands productivity-turning Sahel women’s gold into cash, jobs and growth.”
 
The Northern Regional Minister Salifu Saed, the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, the Burkinabe Minister for Environment Green Economy and Climate Change, Batio Bassiere and Dr. Nasagri Banbangi are among the dignitaries attending the workshop which has participants from some selected countries in the West African sub-region.
By: Murtala Issah

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