There is an outbreak of a strange disease destroying highly valuable Shea trees across the three regions of the north.

Affected trees wither suddenly and die off. The Shea tree is a source of livelihood for many households and families in the three regions of the north. Alarmed farmers are calling for urgent assistance.

An estimated three million rural women in Ghana make a small income from shea butter. The tree’s ability to survive dry weather conditions makes it an attractive farming option in the three regions of the north.

But in the unexplained outbreak, more than 300 trees have been destroyed in just one village.

The affected communities include Maluwe, Nanpala, Kawie Tuombo, Gindabour and some communities in the Sissala East in the Upper West region and Navrongo in the Upper East region.

Export earnings from shea butter products reached US$64 million in 2015. In the past seven years, shea has been part of the top ten leading Non-Traditional export products from the country.