We currently have two live projects targeted at women shea nut collectors and butter producers in northern Ghana:
The first builds on a climate change adaptation project and looks at shea as a livelihood diversification strategy; and the second comes out of a new three-way partnership between Farmers Voice Radio, The Body Shop and their shea butter supplier, Tungteiya Women’s Association.
OPEN SOURCE FARMERS' VOICE RADIO IN GHANA
Tempane & East Mamprusi Districts Northern Ghana
CARE International and GBC-URA Radio
UK Aid Direct, Prince of Wales Charitable Fund, The Gibbs Trust,
Edith M Ellis 1985 Charitable Trust, Ashworth Charitable Trust and the W. F Southall Trust
April 2019-Dec 2020
Shea nut pickers and shea butter processing communities
‘TBC’ on URA Radio, 89.7 MHz
This Farmers' Voice Radio project aims to provide smallholder farmers in northern Ghana with improved, ongoing access to relevant and timely information that will help them to grow their agri-businesses in a sustainable way. The project follows on from the BRAVE climate resilience project in the region and responds directly to a request from female listeners of the ‘Farmer and the Water’ radio programmes to receive more information on shea nut gathering and the production of shea butter – a highly desirable ingredient used in many food, cosmetic and hair products, as well as being a staple in local cooking. Northern Ghana is one of the principle areas where shea nuts are grown, but deforestation and climate change are decimating shea tree parklands.
Farmers' Voice Radio is bringing shea nut gatherers and butter processors together, along with local extension officers, sector experts and radio presenters, to produce radio programmes that provide exactly the right information needed by the women, at the right time of year and in the two local languages spoken in this area. Topics include how to avoid snakebites when collecting; when and how shea nuts should be collected to get the best quality; how to protect shea seedlings; alternative wood fuel strategies to tree cutting; how to process quality shea butter; and the different markets for selling shea.
The materials developed during the production of the programmes will be shared on the Farmers' Voice Radio online resource page so that other organisations working in this area can also benefit.
Sahada Mahaw, Listener Group Leader from Jawani, said:
“I like so many things about Farmers' Voice Radio because I hear what is going on in farming and I am ready to put it into active work as a farmer, who is picking shea nut.”
FARMERS' VOICE RADIO FOR SHEA NUT COLLECTORS AND BUTTER PROCESSORS WITH TUNGTEIYA WOMEN'S ASSOCIATION
Tungteiya Women’s Association
The Body Shop and UK Aid’s SCCF
January 2020- December 2020
Shea nut pickers and shea butter processing communities across Northern Region
‘Kpihi Saha’ = ‘Shea time’ on Radio Savannah 91.3 Mhz
Farmers’ Voice Radio has recently launched a new project in partnership with Tungteiya Women’s Association and The Body Shop, focused on shea nut collectors and shea butter processors in the Northern Region.
Tungteiya Women’s Association has been The Body Shop’s supplier of shea butter since 1994, sourced through The Body Shop’s Community Fair Trade programme. They have 640 women members living in 11 villages across Northern Ghana. Each year Tungteiya’s members produce 390 tons of the highest quality shea butter using traditional and sustainable techniques. In addition to the shea butter producers, Tungteiya works with around 11,000 women shea nut collectors across the region. The Body Shop (TBS) and UK Aid will fund the Farmers Voice Radio project for one year (Jan 2020-Dec 2020).
The aim of this Farmers Voice Radio project is to strengthen the sustainability of the shea supply chain in northern Ghana, with a particular focus on women’s empowerment and the climate resilience of rural shea-producing communities.
1. Women’s empowerment
a. Women of all ages will better understand the value of shea and have improved knowledge about the shea supply chain, nut collection, post-harvest processing, butter making and warehousing
b. Improve the health and well-being of shea nut collectors/ butter producers
c. Improve women’s knowledge and practices relating to business and using income from shea as part of a diversified livelihood
2. Climate resilience
a. Increase awareness of sustainable shea production, that minimises negative environmental impact (avoid deforestation)
b. increase understanding of shea parkland management and regeneration (traditional planting practices, land tenure, fallow systems, minimise impact of bush fires, biodiverse eco-systems)
c. Improve engagement and communication with Tungteiya suppliers in order to ensure that quality and volume meet their needs and negative environmental impacts are minimised.
d. Improve information flow and transparency within the wider shea supply chain in northern Ghana, strengthening cooperation and building sustainability, and to provide a platform for public messaging on key issues
With a potential reach of at least 300,000 radio listeners, we would expect the project to enhance and extend the benefits already accruing to 3,000 shea collectors through Tungteiya’s involvement in the Global Shea Alliance’s Sustainable Shea Initiative (SSI), funded by USAID.
The Farmers’ Voice Radio training and planning workshop was held in Tamale in February 2020 with 18 participants from the shea producing communities, Tungteiya Women’s Association and local community radio stations. The twice weekly ‘Shea Time’ radio programmes, in Dagbani language, will be broadcast on Wednesdays and Saturdays (at times agreed by the Listener Group) on Radio Savannah.