Shea butter production in Ghana

Shea butter production in Ghana

With all the hard work that goes into the production of shea butter a producer of the primary product ends a meagre GHC 8.

Shea butter production in Ghana

Shea nuts are harvested from the shea tree

According to a BBC documentary on the production of shea butter from Anateem in the Upper East   region of Ghana, after the picking, crushing, roasting, grinding and cooking of the nut to produce shea butter, a woman [labourer] takes home less than GHC 10.

Women engaged in shea butter production in Anateem a community in the Bolgatanga Municipality, an estimated three million rural women in Ghana make a small income from shea butter, but Mrs Atornyege does not want her granddaughter to be one of them.

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65 year old Rebecca Atornyege told the BBC how she and her colleague women make a livelihood from the little they earn from their shea butter business.

"This shea butter we're making will be sold to pay for her school fees and buy her books.

"My dream is for her to be successful… like a doctor or a nurse. I don't want her to suffer the way I am suffering,” Atornyege told the BBC.

In recent years, there has been a rise in demand for shea butter as an ingredient not only in skin products, but confectionery and pharmaceuticals.

Shea butter is an off-white or ivory-colored fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. Shea butter is a triglyceride derived mainly from stearic acid and oleic acid. It is widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizer, salve or lotion.

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