Officials from the Australian High Commission in Accra have paid a visit to beneficiary women-owned shea butter processing groups in the Northern Region to witness first-hand how the group is capitalizing on the support they received from the Australian Commission in impacting their operations
Through the Australian High Commission’s Direct Aid, some six women-owned shea butter processing groups, comprising of 25 members in each group in the Sagnarigu Municipality of the Northern Region, received support in the 2022, leading to enhanced production and improved income levels of the women.
The visiting delegation was accompanied by other officials from the Children Believe, an international child-centred non-governmental organisation, and its local implementing partner organisation; and Markaz-Al-Bishara Child Development Programme (MABCDP).
Madam Zakaria Adam Laceera Patience, the Secretary of Yumzaa Women Association at Tampe-Kukuo, hailed the impact of the support. “The support has turned around our operations. We used to process two tonnes a day. Since we received the equipment, we have increased to four to five tonnes per day.”
Madam Zakaria noted that the support has improved their income to support their children’s education to keep them in school and commit to other household needs. “Our young girls do not travel down south for kayaye because they know that we have the equipment here to work,” she said.
Madam Sana Mohammed, the Leader of Kpagmang Ka Wunisog Shea Butter Processing Group, on her part, said the support enabled them to increase their production and improve the quality of their products.
Harriet Williams, the Second Secretary at the Australian High Commission, after the tour of the production plants of the shea processors, and listening to the testimonies of the beneficiary women, stated that she was impressed about the turnaround of their operations. She said, “it is fantastic how they have used the support we have given them,” and commended the efforts of the women to help others in their communities to learn skills and processes to empower themselves.
Harriet Williams expressed the hope that the women would spread their wealth of knowledge for the benefit of more women and urged them to make the best out of their investments.
Northern Regional Minister Calls for More
The delegation later paid a courtesy call on the Northern Regional Minister in Tamale to brief him about their operations in the region. Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister, expressed gratitude for the support offered the women shea processors, but appealed for further assistance to expand their operations for the benefit of other women’s groups within the community.
The beneficiary groups received production kits such as: roasters, basins, buckets, boiling pots, and water storage tanks, as well as training on quality production, packaging, marketing, and raising campaigns for the recognition of the rights of women and girls.
Shea butter is one of the most important local products in Northern Ghana and also few other African countries. The shea butter comes from the nuts of the shea trees that grow in savannah region from West Africa to East Africa. In almost every village in Northern Ghana, women are involved in shea butter process.
In Africa, manufacture of shea butter is an ancient practice. In this part of the world, it has been mostly used as cooking oil and for skin care. Nowadays, in Western world, shea butter is one of the most common used organic ingredient in cosmetics. It can be used as lotion or moisturizer as well as raw butter without any other ingredients. It can be used for any skin types and for every body part – from scalp to feet.
But it is used especially for dry, itchy and problematic skin and hair, for healing wounds and burns, for preventing stretch-marks, for child’s sensitive skin, as UV protector, for tanning etc. It is rich with vitamins A, D, E and F. The importance of these mysterious butter in cosmetics is not surprising since it has numerous healing characteristics.
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