ARG And Partners Outdoor Shea Processing Facility

4th December 2019

A digital model for the Shea Processing Facility

The commemoration of A Rocha Ghana’s 20th anniversary has set the pace for several livelihood interventions in the Mole Ecological Landscape.

As part of the continuous sustainability of the landscape, a Shea Processing Facility has officially been outdoored. This timely announcement was made at launch of the organisation’s 20th anniversary last Thursday, November 28, 2019.

Expected to be completed in June 2020, the construction would establish an environmentally friendly organic Shea butter-processing facility in Murugu around the Mole National Park in Ghana.

The facility will ensure the effective processing of handcrafted Shea butter.

Organic Shea Butter

In Ghana for instance, Shea production or the process of extraction falls into three main categories: manual traditional, semi-mechanized (using hydraulic/screw presses) and fully mechanized industrial systems.

The traditional method however predominates and rural-based women using manual traditional methods, extract about 60% of all the crude butter produced in West Africa at an extraction rate of about 20%.

The facility will therefore see an improvement from the manual traditional process of extraction to a more mechanized system which will further improve the quantity and quality of Shea butter produced within the area. The facility will be designed to reduce fuel consumption by 80%, water consumption by 50%, reduce solid waste and reduce exposure to excessive heat and inhalation of smoke by the women workers.

The Shea tree grows naturally in Ghana’s Savannah belt

Benefits

There are over 600 indirect women beneficiaries, although in total around 1,000 women will be impacted including the women from the large communities that will supply to the centre.

It is envisioned that the centre would directly employ 200 workers mostly of which are women and would produce one tonne of butter a day. Women will receive more premiums on butter produced and would gain all-year-round employment, while contributing a premium to the Mole Ecological Landscape Conservation Trust Fund.

Funding and support for this is made possible through Evolution of Smooth (EOS), Savannah Fruits Company (SFC), Noe, Dessange, IUCN-NL and Global Shea Alliance (GSA).

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