Farm Radio International at the service of women who harvest shea nuts.
In the shea sector value chain, women harvest the nuts and represent 80% of the sector’s labour force. However, despite the major potential in terms of shea almond(1) processing (annual production is about 850,000 tons), it is estimated that just 50% of harvested nuts are processed, and this low proportion fl uctuates from year to year. Moreover, as shea nut harvesting and marketing are relatively unstructured activities, the women who harvest shea nuts receive low prices. Clearly, there is a problem in terms of optimizing the harvesting and marketing of this resource. More specifi cally, there exist multiple concerns regarding organizational issues, sustainable management of the resource, quality control, as well as a lack of skills, knowledge and access to information on markets.
1. The fruit of the shea tree is referred to as the shea nut and its kernel is called an almond. So, while one speaks in terms of shea nuts harvested, shea butter is actually only made from the almonds.