PRCA-SA / Jege Ni Jaba II
Mali’s shea endowment and market demand for its products are considerable. Notwithstanding, the contribution of shea into rural Malian livelihoods in general and to the socioeconomic status of women in particular lags far behind its potential. It is estimated that Mali exports only about 60% of the annual potential of 250,000 tons. While shea trees cover approximately 20 million hectares (Nouvellet & al., 2006), the shea value-chain in Mali is plagued by weak private sector investment, lack of capacity for many cooperatives to provide quality products that meet regional and international markets standards, underdeveloped storage facilities, and aging parklands.
Yet, shea is one of the most important income generating crop for women in the shea producing regions of Mali. In these regions, according to a study conducted by the the Malian Government, shea nuts and butter trading provide up to 80% of the income of rural areas (MPFEF, 2011). Shea provides income especially during the lean season. Therefore, the production and marketing potentials for shea offers considerable economic opportunity and enhanced socio-economic resiliency of families. There are opportunities to reduce extreme poverty, empower women, and improve food security in shea areas, which could help lift the rural economy out of its vicious cycle of perpetual subsistence. These opportunities can be achieved by increased private sector engagement, improved capacity of local actors (i.e. cooperatives, microfinance institutions), better organization and training of the main producers, adapted warehouse facilities, and improved parklands management.
The objective of this 3-year initiative is to contribute to increased food security, sustainable income, gender equality, and resilience of 30,000 women mainly in the Shea producing regions of Mali (Sikasso, Segou, Koulikoro, and Kayes). This will be achieved through: a) brokering secured, fair, and long term contracts between the Shea cooperatives and private companies; b) improving storage by building adequate warehouses and training women cooperatives on storage management (warehouse receipts system); c) Training the cooperatives in business development/entrepreneurship, and Shea quality; d) improving Shea parklands by developing Shea plants nurseries and training the cooperatives on grafting and pruning to protect the trees.
ICCO ROWA has a solid experience in managing PPP program in the West Africa region and beyond. It has implemented several PPP projects in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Ghana, which are mainly funded by the private sector, the Dutch Government and USAID. ICCO Cooperation will continue to play the same role to enable a successful implementation of the project and to sustainably optimize the benefits of the value chain actors.
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