The Shea tree, also known as Vitallaria Paradoxa is a common plant in the Savannah area of Ghana. Most of these Shea trees are found in the wild. Though, there are a few plantations across the region.
The tree produces a very tasty and edible fruit which has an oil-rich seed.
In Northern Ghana, women mostly engage in Shea nut processing. They extract Shea butter from the seeds which is further used in the food and cosmetics industry.
Scientific research has shown that Shea butter enhances capillary vessels blood activity, increasing oxygenation and toxic metabolism.
It is also known to be the most effective skin moisturizer because of its high content of non-saponifiable fats including vitamin F.
My idea/Project is a brain child of a careful and pratical study of the Sheanut business.
Objectives of the Project:
(i) Creating descent livelihoods in selected communities by training and engaging the youth and women in effective and innovative ways of harvesting, processing and marketing of Shea products.
(ii) Organising the youth to act as volunteers/vanguards against the irregular felling of Shea trees for firewood and charcoal burning.
(iii) Commercializing the planting of Shea trees.
(iv) Facilitating the implementation of bye-laws at the local levels to strictly ban any activity that will have an adverse effect on the environment.
(v) Being the leading producer and exporter of the best quality Shea nuts and Shea products in the region.
The project will mainly be in two folds. That is the Sheabutter processing and shea tree Protection and planting.
(i) Sheanut processing will include all the major activities that is involved in the extraction of Sheabutter. The processes are
- Harvesting/Picking of the fruit.
- Pre-treating the fruit to remove any surface mould and other bacteria fom the fruit.
- De-pulping the fruit and leaving the nuts.
- Drying and shelling of nuts.
- Grinding of seeds.
- Sheabutter extraction.
-Further processing the Sheabutter into finished products.
Note: After drying and shelling, the seeds/nuts can be sold as a raw material to both local and foreign Shea processing companies.
(ii) The Shea tree protection and planting will have activities centered on protecting the Shea tree and also planting new and improved Shea varieties. Traditional and Social media will be our medium to disseminate all the information about the dangers associated with illegal tree felling and also the value of the Shea plant which is not given the desired attention.
If you have any questions