Can shea nuts help the women of Mali – Africa News blog | Analysis & Opinion | Reuters

Can shea nuts help the women of Mali – Africa News blog | Analysis & Opinion | Reuters

Posted on 29. Jan, 2010 by in Agriculture, Community

Excerpt from Africa News blog | Analysis & Opinion | Reuters.

How can African countries earn more from their raw materials. And how can the women of Mali improve their ability to trade with buyers in the West?

Korotouma Doumbia, a 29-year-old from south-west Mali, has no education or formal skills but she manages to earn the family income. She harvests shea nuts and turns them into shea butter, a popular ingredient in many western cosmetics.

The shea tree grows wild in nearly 20 countries in Africa and Mali has more shea trees than any of its neighbours. They are often cultivated for their oil and Korotouma’s village has some planted trees, but they also harvest the wild trees further from the village.

The women collect as much as they can carry. But about two thirds of Mali’s shea harvest stays on the ground. The trees are spread out and the women have no other means of transporting their harvest than carrying it on their heads.

One organisation that has tried to help Mali’s women earn more from their shea butter is the Development Trust Association or ACOD, a non-governmental group based in Bamako.

They buy Shea butter from farmers at a minimum price and then either resell it internationally or use it to make cosmetic products.

Elisee Sidibe, the group’s Permanent Secretary, says shea butter is an excellent way to fight poverty in rural Mali. “So if the government and its partners support the shea industry and help position it on the international market, then we could dramatically reduce poverty among women in rural areas.”

But the problem is that most women aren’t producing high-grade shea butter that can be sold internationally. They can sell their produce to the local market, but they get much less money for it than they could expect if they had access to better means of processing the butter.

The money they earn in the market is small compared to the profits made by big international cosmetics companies that use African shea butter in their creams and lotions.

Local experts believe that with more investment, the shea butter industry in Mali has huge potential for growth. This would impact not just the lives of women in rural areas, but also the country’s overall economy.

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4 Responses to “Can shea nuts help the women of Mali – Africa News blog | Analysis & Opinion | Reuters”

  1. Eugenia Akuete

    01. Feb, 2010

    I agree completely with Elisee, For any serous poverty aleviation program in the Sub-Saharan region to work attention must be paid to the shea industry. As I always say shea touches every houehold in these areas.
    Eugenia Akuete
    CEO, Naasakle Ltd, Ghana
    Producers of Premium Quality Shea Butter and All Natural African Black Soap

    Reply to this comment
  2. cheap latisse

    29. Apr, 2010

    Web based good for me

    Reply to this comment
  3. forever young

    10. Nov, 2010

    Oh shea butter is one of good thing for making cosmetic, the products made from shea butter is very good for skin health

    Reply to this comment
  4. alhajii Bilalii

    29. Nov, 2010

    i am here to help the africanwomen ..the backbone of handcrafted of the african karite tree shea butter….the cosmetic world benefits too much from my people….the african blackqueen of planet earth is the best….in handcrafted products…globally….are you here to really help them have wealth ….for the world to look beautiful……just be for real…..nevr use them …or take advantage of there God giving blessful skills…..like the world have always taken advantage of our great gift to make there world better..ours nothing…poor.and no wealth….food 4 thought

    Reply to this comment

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