The Global Shea Alliance (GSA) in collaboration with the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) has launched a $3.6 million regional programme named “Supporting the Inclusive Commercial Development of the Shea Value Chain”.
According to the statement, the initiative will facilitate exports of shea kernels and value-added shea products from Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Togo.
It will stimulate pro-poor growth by expanding demand for value-added shea products, supporting small businesses to access international markets, and improving trade-related incomes for women collectors and processors.
The project aims to increase shea trade by 28,880 mt per year, provide productive infrastructure and build the capacity of 30,660 women shea collectors and processors in the four countries and support the export readiness of 2,180 SMEs.
It also aims to improve trade engagement between Africa and Asia through the online market platforms, conferences, trade shows as well as policy initiatives.
This regional project will be implemented in close coordination with the EIF units in the four targeted countries.
Commenting on the initiative,Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director of the Enhanced Integrated Framework said, “Investing in and supporting the growth of the shea industry is key to promoting economic diversification, value addition and growth through regional trade in the selected least developed countries in West Africa.”
Also commenting, Badie Marico, the President of GSA, expressed optimism that the initiative would help to improve incomes of shea collectors and processors, as well as support the industry growth in regional and international markets.