Ghana Chamber of Shea to train women shea farmers in the Upper West region

Some women at Kulkpong, a community in the Wa East District, have expressed the hope of gaining improved economic fortunes through a shea project being implemented by the Ghana Chamber of Shea.

Mr Abdul Hamid Adams, the CEO of Tondaar Ventures, speaking to the participants

The Chamber is piloting the shea project in the Kulkpong community to train women on improved processing of the commodity and link them to the market as an alternative source of livelihood and income for the women.

Madam Awsatu Musah, who participated in the training at the weekend, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that she burnt charcoal to sell to earn a living because she had no other alternative livelihood, particularly in the dry off-season.

She expressed the hope that she would produce quality shea butter to gain some income through which she would take care of her children.

“I have seen that what they taught us today is different from how I used to do it and I hope that at the end of the training, I will be able to produce good shea butter and to get good market,” she said.

Madam Mufida Marzoni, another participant, said though many women in that community picked shea nuts, they were not able to process them and expressed optimism that the training would enable them to process the shea rather than selling the nuts.

“If we form the cooperative, and with the training and the support that we will get from the project, we can process the shea nuts in bulk and sell. With that, we can earn a decent livelihood. The training will help us a lot,” she explained.

Mr Sumaila Chakura, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Shea, told the GNA that the project aimed to empower rural women to use shea as a tool to elevate their economic status.

It would help to form women cooperatives in the project communities, empower them with the skills and knowledge to produce good quality shea butter and link them to markets.

The Chamber would also seek support from donors to support the cooperatives with equipment for shea picking and processing for the women to add value to increase their profits instead of just picking and selling the nuts, Mr Chakura said.

“It is through value addition that they can actually make more money, and their economic status can improve,” he added.

As the Chamber sought to provide a market for the women to sell the shea products, it would ensure that those buying had value for their money, he said.

The project also sought to create a shea plantation in the communities its success would discourage the women from felling shea trees to burn charcoal.

He encouraged the women to see shea processing as a business and not just an activity for survival.

Mr Abdul Hamid Adams, the CEO of Tondar Ventures, a shea butter processing company in the region, took the women through the safety measures and best practices for shea kennel picking and processing.

He encouraged the women to add value to the shea butter such as the production of soap and body cream, which could fetch them more money.

Ms Portia Dumba, the Founder of Pordu Care Enterprise, a producer of shea butter cream, taught the participants how to form and manage cooperatives.

She said working in cooperatives would help improve their businesses, enhance their bargaining power and networking for their personal and community development.

The “Empowering Rural Women through Quality Shea Processing” project is being implemented by the Ghana Chamber of Shea in partnership with NoniHub, Tondar Ventures, Inspired Legacy, Pordu Care and Nelias Foods.

Also read:  Sustainable Palm Oil in Africa : An Interview with RSPO’s Africa Head

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Source: GNA

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