Shea sourcing in Ghana: empowering women cooperatives


“Where the shea tree grows, life grows”.
Agriterra and Bunge Loders Croklaan have joined forces to professionalise women shea cooperatives in Ghana.

They explored and strengthened their relationship with a collaboration under the Global Shea Alliance in training two women groups in Ghana (Nasia and Nakpaya). After this collaboration, both expressed their interest to further strengthen the two women groups in becoming professional cooperatives. And so, a new partnership was born.  

The organisations

The Nasia (409 registered members) and Nakpaya (107 registered members) women groups are both located in the West Mamprusi Municipality in the North-East region of Ghana. Both organisations are in the process of transforming from an informal group with no registration and no elected leadership into a formal cooperative.

Both organisations have what it takes to become a strong cooperative: energy, commitment and the ambition to sell to a guaranteed market at a good price.  

Shared vision

Agriterra and Bunge Loders Croklaan believe that through working together, the women eventually take lead in addressing inequality in the shea supply chain and improve their own livelihoods.

How will this work? Strong cooperatives are truly member-based and will run as a sustainable business. They act as independent and trustworthy partners towards not only their members, but also to buyers, government agencies and other stakeholders in the supply chain. The next generation shea cooperatives in Ghana will have a level of professionality whereby it can produce, procure, and sell shea nuts conform the demands of the market. 

Our approach

Agriterra and Bunge Loders Croklaan will give support to the Nasia and Nakpaya women groups to such a level that they become independent and economically viable professional cooperatives and thereby are able to collectively source shea nuts from their members under pre-defined quantities and quality standards.

We can describe six objectives to achieve this goal:

  1. Formal registration as a cooperative society.
  2. The cooperatives have a strong board, dedicated staff and HR.
  3. The cooperatives run a strong operation which is demonstrated by proper  bookkeeping, financial management, planning, member registration, quality control etc.
  4. The cooperatives have a long-term financially sustainable business plan in place with the capacity to source quality shea nuts for BLC. The cooperatives are bankable and able to increase internal capital as well as attract external finance for working capital.
  5. The cooperatives are member driven.
  6. The cooperatives are an active player in the shea supply chain and voice the interest of their members externally.

The future starts now: towards a women-led and women-owned shea enterprise in Ghana.

Read more about “Where the shea tree grows, life grows”


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