Tamale (N/R), Feb 24,  GNA – The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) is researching into both domestic and foreign markets with a view to increasing demand for shea products.

Mr Seidu Saaka Bakari, Senior Export Development Officer at the Tamale Office of the GEPA, told a public forum on Shea Plantations Development organized by Savannah Plantations, an NGO in Tamale on Thursday that initial reports showed that  shea products were receiving patronage worldwide.

The forum, which brought together researchers, academia, industry, traditional authorities, and policy makers, deliberated on the development of shea plantations and  shared knowledge on new technologies, especially plantation development.

Mr Bakari said 2008 to 2010 export figures of shea products increased significantly indicating that demand was rising, hence the need to find more markets to generate more revenue.

He said GEPA was also working to encourage some NGOs to provide protective clothing for women who picked the shea nuts to protect them against snake bites.

Mr San Nasamu Asabigi, the Deputy Northern Regional Minister, said shea could become cocoa for the three northern regions if managed properly.

He said the government was committed to making the shea industry a prosperous one and called on District Assemblies to support individuals who wanted to invest in the shea industry.

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