Up-scaling and improving the quality of Shea butter produced by the Shea butter processors wing of Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Up-scaling and improving the quality of Shea butter produced by the Shea butter processors wing of Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The main objective of this project is to provide technical training to improve the quality of butter extracted, management and finance facilitation, expanding & creating access market to include more women.
The specific objectives are as follows;
• To train women in quality Shea butter processing that meet international market demand
• To expand and create access market to include more women.
• To train the women in management and finance facilitation.
Expected Results
The expected outcomes of GNCCI-SPW would be as follows:
1. 300 women trained in high quality butter production to meet local, national and international standards
2. 300 Women trained to package butter for specific markets. (Design packages, labels etc)

Business Case

The Shea Butter Processors Wing (SPW) of Ghana chamber of commerce and industry (GNCCI) is a group of Shea butter processors with businesses registered with registrar generals department as social enterprises, established in 2013 with the aim of forming women cooperatives and using Shea butter processing in supporting the fight against poverty through women empowerment, creating employment among rural communities whiles preventing deforestation and drought.
As a social enterprise we currently have about one thousand (300) women membership located in three (3) districts of Upper West region, which are Wa municipal, Wa West and Jirapa Municipality.
Our current Shea butter processing centre with a miller, cracker, kneader and roasters is located at Jirapa and Kperisi 65km and 8km respectively away from the regional capital (Wa). Shea nuts collected and processed by the women groups are used for the production of unrefined and refined Shea butter for sale.
Our current production capacity is one (1) metric ton per month for unrefined or refined Shea butter, even though our full capacity is about 20+ metric ton per month.
We are currently selling, researching and creating sales points in some regional capitals of Ghana. We want to identify factors that are most relevant or irrelevant to customers with regards to Shea products in the market. With customers’ preference, we will eliminate what is irrelevant and create value for existing or new customers.

We have so far together with other supporting partners invested about GH¢ 59,150.00 in tools and equipment, infrastructure, consultations, licensing, etc. To operate at full capacity, our required investment cost is about GH¢ 594,700.00 which includes cost of warehousing, additional tools and equipment, packaging materials, consultation fees, certification/renewal, additional machinery, infrastructure, raw materials and others.
Our current financial requirement to implement an up-scaling and training on improving butter quality for 2019 is GH¢ 116,300 and this covers replacement of worn out equipment, purchase of new equipment, training on premium nuts and premium butter production etc.

GNCCI, business concept on the Shea butter processors wing (SPW) is to use our natural resources in a sustainable manner to improve upon the livelihood of rural women. Hence, was established based on women empowerment, employment generation among rural communities and Shea tree conservation for livelihood and prevention of deforestation & drought within the Upper West Region.

Shea butter is a skin super food that comes from the seeds of the fruit of Shea tree which is naturally rich in vitamin A, E, and F. It has a significant fraction of unsaponifiables that is credited with a range of therapeutic benefits, such as UV protection, moisturizing, and regenerative, anti-eczema, anti-wrinkle properties and provides the skin with essential fatty acids and nutrients.
Our hair and body butter with vanilla scent soften & relieves rough dry skin, protect and provides the skin with essential fatty acids and nutrients, moisturizes the scalp for a healthier and beautiful shine hair.
The product label has FM Shea, ASW and SWEO in bold, of Shea butter container, and is packaged into plastic containers ranging from 150g, 200g, 250g, 300g, 500g, 1kg, 3.5Kg and into transparent rubber and cartoon boxes for bulk buyers.

Our target customers are local and international cosmetic shops/industries hair dressing saloons, confectionery industries and pharmaceuticals in Ghana and beyond.
Our concentration for now is Ghana, and we hope by making progress locally, it will be easier to penetrate into the international market.

We hope by impacting into the lives of rural communities through the Shea business, the Shea tree could be seen as an economic tree and will conserve, protect and possibly replant for sustainable livelihood. This will contribute in the prevention against deforestation and drought.

It is managed by the processor groups thus; FM Shea, Sumbo-posh women empowerment organization (SPWEO), Akoro Shea women Group (ASW) Sungbawiera Shea Processors (SSP) and supervised by Ghana Chamber of commerce and industry-Wa.

The business is currently located in Kperisi, Jirapa, Berinyasi all in the Upper West Region.

The product goes through several developmental stages before the final production, below are some stages of the product development.

After the Shea fruits are picked from the wild or parklands using basket or plastic container, the Shea fruit go through six main processing stages before storage or use for Shea butter production or sold out. These stages are:
• Depulping: The removal of the Shea pulp to prevent further growth of fungi.
• Parboiling: The boiling of the nuts to prevent germination process. This has to be done with the first three to seven days of pick to avoid germination.
• Drying: The nuts are left on the grounds or roof to dry in order to reduce moisture content. When the nuts produce a rattling noise when shaken indicates that they are dried.
• Dehusting: Cracking of the nut shell by gently pounding it with a mortar
• Winnowing: The process of separating the kernels from the cracked shell
• Drying of kernels: The kernels are dried for another three to five days before storage. It has to be stored in jute sacks place on pellets to prevent moisture formation.

We have two methods of Shea butter extraction; the traditional manual extraction and semi- automated. We use either methods of extraction depending on prevailing situation.

We have six main stages in the extraction of Shea butter. These are:
• Washing & Drying: Washing of the shea kernel and drying it for some few hours
• Breaking/Cracking: Breaking of the kernels into smaller pieces for roasting. This is done with a cracker machine. This help for proper roasting of the kernels.
• Roasting: This is the process of pouring the broken kernels into roasters and heating it to obtain a brown kernel colour.
• Cooling: The roasted kernels are allowed to cool down before milling.
• Milling: The roaster kernels are milled to obtain a brown paste.
• Kneading: the black paste is beaten with warm water for a creamy mass to float on top of the mixture and is allowed to sleep overnight.
• Boiling: The creamy mass is then washed once or twice before boiling to bring out the oil, which is allowed to cool down to obtain the Shea butter.

The body butter is produce using some percentage of additives such as fragrance, coco nut oil; Natural olive oil, petroleum gel etc. mix with higher percentage of Shea butter. This will be mixed in a source pan or electric mixture and stir for some minutes using either the electric mixture or a ladle. It will then be packaged into labeled plastic containers and weighed before sales or distributions.

It will take between twenty-four (24) hours to forty-eight (48) hours for the final product to be ready for sales or distributions depending upon available tools and equipment.

Shea butter is a product for all age (children, adults, old age) or sex (female/male) groups and race, therefore, its demand is high dependent on the kind of Shea product, quality, season, customers understanding, and its application.
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Project Snapshot

Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry –WA Chamber
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 15,375.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 40,000.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 66,600.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Significant Participation of Indigenous Peoples
The beneficiaries are all indigenous women.
Capacity - Building Component
The capacity needs of the Group is producing to meet the international market.
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Number of CBOs / NGOs participated / involved in SGP project 5
Number of CBOs / NGOs formed or registered through the SGP project 5
Number of women participated / involved in SGP project 300
Number of indigenous people participated/involved in SGP project 300
Number of value added labels/certifications/quality standards received or achieved 1
Innovative financial mechanisms put in place through SGP project 2
Number and type of support linkages established with local governments/authorities 1
Total monetary value (US dollars) of ecosystem goods sustainably produced and providing benefit to project participants and/or community as a whole (in the biodiversity, international waters, and land degradation focal areas as appropriate) 250000
Increase in household income by increased income or reduced costs due to SGP project 100
Number of households who have benefited* from SGP project 300
Number of individuals (gender diaggregated) who have benefited* from SGP project 300

SGP Country office contact

Dr. George Buabin Ortsin
Ms. Lois Sarpong
+233 505740909


UNDP, Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme P.O. Box 1423
Accra, Greater Accra, 233-302
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