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Fields of Gold by adb ADB powering the shea industry; A quick way of creating wealth

Its value lies in the fact that almost every part of it has a special use; the fruit is eaten, the leaves are used as fodder as well as serve as an ingredient for making alkaline and paint.

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Shea Butter play

Shea Butter

Shea trees grow in the wild in the Northern part of Ghana. The tree remains very important for the livelihoods of the rural population in the three Northern Regions.

Its value lies in the fact that almost every part of it has a special use; the fruit is eaten, the leaves are used as fodder as well as serve as an ingredient for making alkaline and paint.

Shea’s most valuable part however is the shea butter and its derivatives exported in large volumes to France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark, North America and Japan where it is processed into a wide range of food products including chocolate as well as the ever increasing use in the cosmetic industry.

In the 2000s shea butter became one of the six vegetable fats allowed by the EU to serve

as a Cocoa Butter Equivalent (CBE) for use in the manufacturing of chocolates. Shea’s advantage in the use as CBE stems from the fact that it has the characteristics to increase the melting point of chocolates.  

Typically, shea trees grow naturally in eighteen different countries which include: Ghana, Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Niger, Chad Cameroon, Central African Republic, Uganda, Congo, Kenya and Sudan.

READ MORE:ADB Four Simple steps to acquire funding for your Agric venture

The Agricultural Development Bank has provided financial intermediation to actors in the shea value chain. At the center of ADB’s shea financing is the support to two major sister processors, International Oil and Fats Limited and Ghana Nuts Limited situated at Techiman in the Brong Ahafo Region to purchase and process shea nuts into shea butter and subsequent fractionation into stearin, olein and gum. Support to these processors has increased demand for shea nuts, enabling women in the North to easily sell their picks at more competitive prices.

The bank has also provided financing to a number of aggregators to purchase the shea nuts from the pickers for sale to both exporters and processors. Aggregators such as K. Issah Nut Trading Enterprise and MM AWAL Limited have been financed to act as offtakers to several pickers.

ADB has so far invested about US$15.0 million in the shea value chain and would continue to increase its investment, taking cognizance of the special role the crop plays in poverty alleviation especially in the three Northern Regions.

The bank reckons the challenges in the shea industry in respect of low yields due to poor weather, bush fires, pests and diseases as well as very long gestation period of about 15-20 years and would partner researchers to work to increase yield and shorten the gestation period 

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