Shea Butter Facility and Machinery
From Peace Corps Wiki
Info about the Shea Butter Facility and Machinery
A Women’s Group located in a rural village in the Upper West region of Ghana aims to obtain a shea butter processing facility and machinery to increase economic empowerment. Large families, male breadwinner instability and one short farming season can cause financial hardship for women. Because of a lack of opportunities outside the domestic realm, most women in the region collect shea nuts and manually extract butter for sale and home consumption. The intensive labor required to produce the butter by hand, however, limits the women’s extraction capacity.
With two other groups from nearby communities, this Women’s Group has formed an official co-operative union with about 100 members and identified large-scale shea butter processing as a viable activity to increase income. There is a substantial market available for shea butter due to its increased use in consumer products such as lotion, soap and chocolate. To produce the quantity and quality of butter that the growing market requires, the women are requesting funds for extraction machines, and a structure to house the equipment.
The women’s motivation has been demonstrated through the preparation of land for construction, responsible financial management and sustained communication with key players in the industry. The women and their communities are contributing materials, land, and labor for the building’s construction. The women will receive training on business management, operating and maintaining the equipment, and on the production of high-quality shea butter. Overall, the shea butter processing facility and machinery will strengthen the women’s groups by providing them with valuable opportunities to grow while empowering them within their homes and communities.
Note: This summary was provided by a Peace Corps Volunteer and the community administering this project.