Shea nut pickers in the Upper West Region are picking a lot of shea nuts this year but they are worried that they will not reap the needed benefit because there is no fix price for shea nut.
The shea pickers who are mostly women are therefore calling on the government to regulate the pricing of shea nuts and also provide them with basic tools to make their work easier.
Speaking to GBC’s Peace Krupskaya Bomansaan, a shea nut picker at Kaleo in the Nadowli-Kaleo District, Madam Dora Pienaa said women in the district could make a lot of money through shea picking if they have a guaranteed price for the produce.
Shea nuts which are sometimes referred to as “northern gold” provides most rural households with income to feed their families.
The shea nuts mature around May with its peak time in June.
Some shea nut pickers say picking and processing of the nuts is a tedious endeavour without the appropriate tools and equipment.
They said they often encounter snakes and scorpions because they use their bare hands in picking the shea.
They appealed to government to help them with transport as well as simple machinery to process the nuts.
A shea nut aggregator from Kaleo, Oldman Ziema said the weight of the nuts are key for him as an aggregator.
He said when reselling the nuts to processors, the price changes depending on the weight and the availability of the nuts. He called on government and financial institutions to make financing readily available to aggregators to help with their work.
Story by Peace Krupskaya Bomansaan