A Researcher at the Bole substation of the Cocoa Research Institute Dr. Julius Yeboah, has stated that studies in the Shea Tree plantations have revealed that grafted Shea trees are able to fruit in a matter of five years if all conditions available to the plant are present in their right proportions.
Before now, the notion held by many in northern Ghana and the country at large was that the Shea tree grows naturally and anybody trying to plant Shea using its seeds was merely seen as a day dreamer.
Dr. Julius Yeboah disclosed that some two methods of propagating the shea plant is what they have used some five years ago to grow the shea tree. “In this technique plants are put in special conditions to grow roots that get hardened in 30 days and are ready for planting,” he said.
He was speaking to Progress News at the sidelines of a workshop to educate some women and men farmers from selected communities in the Upper West Region on how to graft shea plants in their respective areas.
Dr Yeboah added that shea trees that are grafted or worked on as in top cuttings has proved to be fast growing and high seed yielding in most cases.
He thinks that when people understand that they can plant shea trees it will go a long way to enrich the ecology with trees and raise the income base of people involved in the shea business.
About 38 women and men are drawn from Kperihi, Fian, Nouru, and Moyiri communities to engage in the four day workshop put together by United Purpose an international nongovernmental organization through its social intervention programme with Northern Shea Enterprise.
Speaking at the workshop, Madam Rose the Coordinator for Northern Shea Enterprise said this has become necessary in the era when both men and women cut down trees every day either for energy or for charcoal.
Explaining the importance of the workshop to Progress News she said the participants will get to understand the need not only to conserve the trees available, but to learn how to replant trees especially the shea tree upon which they depend for livelihood.
She said increasing the shea plantation will help reduce poverty as well as forestall the effects of global warming.