From January to March, Global Shea Alliance (GSA) sustainability partners donated 19 warehouses to women collectors and processors, raising the total under the sustainability programme to 84.
The donated warehouses with capacity ranging from 45MT to 120MT benefit 14,000 women in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, and Ghana.
Lydie Kambou, a shea collector from Bouna, Cote d’Ivoire, said: “This warehouse has been a blessing, not only to us but also to our families.” According to her, “thanks to this warehouse, women are able to store their kernels, and they got a very good price from a buyer.”
With access to a warehouse, shea collectors and processors can aggregate higher volumes and double their earnings from shea sales.
The women collectors are also leveraging their shea profits, new organization, and business management skills to expand into other income generating activities such as grain farming, soya cheese, cashew juice, soap making, and rice processing.
Gazere Salamatou, a shea collector from Barienou, Benin said: “When we make our shea sales, we set some of the money aside in preparation for the cashew season. This is how we afford to buy the cashews, bottles, and all the raw materials we use for making the juice.”
Through public private partnerships, the GSA is implementing community development projects including warehouse construction, business development trainings, health and safety initiatives, parkland management, improved planting materials, and conservation projects.