The "Shea nut quality campaign project" aimed at improving the quality of shea nuts produced by women’s groups, through promoting best practices in shea nut processes and highlighting which practices to avoid.
Since 1987, SNV has been active in shea value chain development in Burkina Faso because of its strong economic potential and its vast majority of stakeholders being women. SNV focuses on several parts of the chain: access to and preservation of shea trees parks, organisational capacity building, shea nut quality improvement, market development, contracts brokering support, knowledge development. Special focus is given to finding market solutions in the value chain, like supporting shea producers to gather their products, improve their quality and get new contracts with big buyers.
Workshops have been organized to inform women's groups and raise their awareness on best practices. But the campaign didn't only take place in meeting rooms; it went directly to the markets where women were selling shea products through sensitization animators explaining to what extent following best practices could increase their incomes. More than 1,000 women were sensitized as a result.
Thanks to this proximity approach, women's groups gained more up-to-date qualitative information on best practices for shea nut processing. They also held information on market trends through connections with buyers involved in the project. This project greatly contributed to building the capacity of shea sector women's groups on key techniques to use and processes to get better quality nuts. The information and training sessions were held during the harvest and processing period for shea nuts, thereby maximising the results.