Recent deregulation of the trade in Shea nuts and shea butter combined with the increased demand for shea both as a cocoa butter substitute and a ‘natural’ cosmetic product has led to a rapid increase in demand. The status of shea nut activities as “women’s work” has also focused attention to the potential of shea industries as a promising development activity for semi-arid regions (remote and low agricultural potential) that offers particular benefits to women. A Rocha Ghana in partnership with Savanna Fruits Company (SFC) facilitated the enrolment of women in the certification process for Shea in its project areas. Organized women are expected to go through different stages within the process which include; Trainings, Registration (generation of ID cards), Contract signing, and Organic certification. So far, SFC has traded directly with the women groups and bought shea nuts during this production season amounting to a total of 35.2 tons. The shea nuts were bought from communities at a price 15% higher than what is offered on the local market and this has significantly increased their income. This project forms part of ARG’s CREMA development programmes in buffer areas of Mole National Park which are funded by the Ecosystem Alliance.
Certification Shea nut production becomes reality