Reducing extreme poverty, empowering women and improving food security in shea areas is the goal of the “Sustainable Shea Value Chain Initiative”. The program was launched yesterday Wednesday 04 October by Oumar Alassane Kouyaté, Technical Advisor, Legal Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce.
Shea is one of the most important income-generating crops for some three million women in the shea-producing regions of Mali. Production is estimated at 250,000 tons per year. According to a study carried out by the Malian government, nuts and shea butter trading in these regions, in particular in Sikasso, Ségou, Koulikoro and Kayes, provide up to 80% of rural income.
The Shea Alliance Global Initiative in collaboration with USAID, was established in Mali to enhance Shea butter with high economic potential. The three-year program (2017-2019) is a partnership between the Ministry of Commerce and USAID and is implemented by the Integrated Framework Implementation Unit (UMOCI) and ICCO Cooperation.
The goal of the $ 800,000 (400,000 million CFA) initiative by USAID, with annual government support of 40 million CFA francs ($80,000), is to contribute to increasing food security, sustainable income, gender equality and the resilience of 40,000 women mainly in the shea-producing regions of Mali. To achieve this, activities will be carried out such as the brokerage of secured, fair and long-term contracts between shea cooperatives and private enterprises; improved storage with the construction of 23 modern stores and training of women on storage management; the training of cooperatives in enterprise development / entrepreneurship and shea quality; the improvement of shea parks by developing nurseries of shea plants and forming cooperatives on grafting and pruning to protect trees.
The representative of the Minister of Commerce, Oumar Alassane Kouyaté, who officially launched the program, said that the development of the shea sector has a threefold environmental, social and economic impact. The Ministry of Trade reassured its support in the development of the shea sector.
Source: Le Challenger