In terms of industrial classification, table 1.3.3 indicates that, the major economic activities are agriculture including hunting, forestry and fishing (69%); manufacturing including small scale processing activities (10.5%) and wholesale and retail trade (8.6%).

Social services including Public Administration, Education, Health, Community Services and private household services constitute 6.5% of gainful work.  Real estate business (housing development), construction, financial services, commercial transport, storage and communication, Hotel and Restaurants are all not well developed in the district and employ a small fraction of those who work.

Small-Scale Business Enterprise Development

The main types of Small Scale Business Activities in the District are:

  • Shea-butter processing and Soap Making
  • Groundnut production and Groundnut Oil extraction
  • Textiles
  • Construction and Building Materials
  • Food storage and Processing
  • Light metal Industries and Rural Workshops
  • Tourism

Shea-Butter Processing And Soap Manufacture

The Builsa District is endowed with the raw materials used for soap production.  The climate and vegetation are particularly favorable for the cultivation of the shea butter tree and the production of sheanuts used in the manufacture of shea butter, an important raw material for the soap industry.

Presently the shea butter plant grows naturally as a wild plant in the bush through the seed dispersal method.  No conscious effort is made to cultivate the plant in large farms and plantations as done in the case of cocoa, palm tree and coffee in the Southern part of Ghana.  It is suggested that feasibility studies be conducted into the possible establishment of shea tree farms and plantations for the production of shea nuts for shea butter processing on a large scale.  Shea butter currently has a good market both in and outside Ghana and is in demand for the production of soap, cosmetics, drugs manufacture.

Groundnut Production And Groundnut Oil Extraction

Builsa District also produces large quantities groundnuts; Greater part of this is presently exported in the raw state with a small quantity processed into oil using relatively crude methods. Larges scale processing of the nuts could yield higher value –added to the product and hence generate higher income for the people besides meeting the existing high market demand for edible oil both in and outside the country. Again conscious efforts must be made to produce groundnuts in commercial quantities if any such investment in edible oil extraction in the district will be viable.

Smock Weaving

This has a long tradition in the whole of the Upper East Region and can be promoted in the major settlements of the Builsa District like Sandema, Fumbisi, Wiaga and Chuchuliga through credit support for the small scale informal producers, large scale cultivation of cotton and the acquisition of textile inputs like broad loom and vanes. As a pace setter in developing the investment potentials of its people, the District Assembly has initiated a Textile Weaving project in Sandema with funding from its Productivity Improvement and Employment generation Fund.

The Tie & Dye and Garment industry also exist.  The several tailors and seamstresses we have could be encouraged to produce large quantities of garments for the domestic market and for export.

Straw Weaving

The weaving of straw for mats, hats, bags and baskets also has long history in the area.  The district in fact has a comparative cost advantage in the industry due to the abundance of the raw material base and the entrepreneurial skills in weaving. Any large-scale development of the industry will however require commercial production of straw, the raw material used for the product.

Tanning and Leather Work

This is another promising small-scale industrial activity in the area in view of the district’s great potential in cattle and hide production, the main raw material for leather products.  There is the need for massive credit support to the numerous small-scale producers in order to modernize the industry.

The Construction And Building Materials Industry

The provision of cheap houses for rural dwellers is said to have been the priority of many Governments. Institutions like the Building and Road Research Institute (BRRI) and Planning and Housing Research Institute of KNUST exist to find a solution to the problem of housing.  However up till now, building materials costs have become so high that it is impossible for the average young man or woman to own a house after several years of hard work
The developments of building materials for the construction industry is not only important but will also provide ready market for entrepreneurs. The Builsa District has huge deposits of reasonably good quality clay and this could form the raw material base for the development of the Brick and Tiles industry in the district. Local artisans /clay workers could be trained in the brick and tile technology and then supported with some capital to establish plants for the manufacture of brick and tile for the housing construction industry. Clay is also an important raw material for the production of electrical materials and accessories like insulators, fuses and fuse-boxes, etc.  With the right support, the clay industries could be made to produce these items to boost the electrical industry.

Food Storage And Processing

The agricultural potentials and opportunities in the Builsa District have been discussed at length elsewhere in this study e.g. production of rice on large scale, etc.  The results of all these efforts can only be felt if the storage and processing industry grows with it.

Edible Oil Extraction

She abutter and Groundnut Oil. Builsa District produces large quantities of both sheanuts and groundnuts; Greater part of this is presently exported in the raw state with a small quantity processed into oil using relatively crude methods.

Large scale processing of the nuts could yield higher value- added to the products and hence generate higher income for the people besides meeting the existing high market demand for edible oil both in and outside the country.  Again conscious efforts must be made to produce sheanuts and groundnuts in commercial quantities if any such investment in edible oil extraction in the district will be viable.

Other food processing activities of great interests at present are:

1.    Grain storage and preservation
2.    Grain milling and bagging.
3.    Processing of dairy products
4.    Fruit and vegetable preservation
5.    Fish storage and preservation
6.    Industrial utilization of roots and tubers
7.    Production and processing of meat
8.    Recycling of waste products into animal feed etc.
9. Small Scale Informal Metal Industry: Welding, Fabrication

Mechanics, Auto Mechanics, Blacksmithing, Electronics, Etc.

The Builsa District is predominately Agricultural, where most of the farmers use locally made tools such as hoes, bullock ploughs, animal drawn carts, etc.  The repair and maintenance of these tools are by local crafts men who have some skills but lack the incentive to develop. The local light metal industry is thus not developed due to such problems as lack of improved tools, basic machines, raw materials, low financial base and the lack of business advisory schemes to enhance their development.

There is thus a great market opportunity for manufacturing and maintaining the basic farm inputs.  If farmers can have a reliable access through competitive markets to the full range of modern technology including machinery and equipment, it will go a long way to increase their output and the aim of the Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Development, increasing production and promoting sustainable livelihood envisaged in the Poverty Reduction Strategy will be achieved.

Development of the indigenous expertise in tools manufacture is necessary to provide the linkage effect needed to modernize agriculture, reduce the drudgery in farming and increase output levels.  Bolgatanga has an ITTU. The expertise and facilities of the unit must thus be brought to bear on the development of the small-scale metal industry in other parts of the Region, especially Builsa.  The establishment of rural mechanical workshops or a Rural Technology Services Centre (RTSC) with basic facilities for forging sheet metal works, machining and also in the electrical trades for rewinding and repairs provides a base from which factories will easily emerge.

These facilities will service agricultural equipment, provide new ones and produce for export if possible.   Thus Bullock ploughs, harrows, ridges, hoes, etc could be produced locally for use by farmers. Farmers would no longer have to travel outside the district to buy or maintain spare parts.  The opportunity for investment in this area still remains untapped..  It has also been emphasized some where in this work that the Builsa District is endowed with the Fumbisi valleys where a lot of rice is produced every farming season. Proposals have subsequently been made for the establishment of a rice mill in the area.  When this is done, the bran that is milled out of the rice is of high nutritional value to animals especially pig. The large-scale production of animal feed would thus be another opportunity for massive investment in pig farming, etc.

Land is cheap and can readily be obtained for this industry. 

Labor, both skilled and unskilled, is also available and this, coupled with the peace that has existed in the area since the defeat of the famous Slave Raiders (Babatu and Samori.) further enhances the district’s comparative advantage in the industry.

Date Created : 11/20/2017 3:49:36 AM