Globalizations in a Nutshell - Opportunities and Risks for Women Shea Producers in West Africa

Project leader D. Andrew Wardell
Location Burkina Faso
Project status ON-GOING
Project start 2019-03-01
Project end 2021-08-31

The development objective of this research is to contribute to reducing the vulnerability of shea parklands and shea users to climate change. It aims to do this by promoting sustainable land management and the equitable, sustainable exploitation of non-timber forest products in accordance with the Burkina Faso National Climate Change Adaptation Plan. This is aligned to Sustainable Development Goals 1, 10, 12 and 13.

With this research, we test a key hypothesis that recent large-scale bulking-up of shea nut purchases by transnational corporations is restructuring the shea value chain that has been managed by women for the past two centuries, thereby increasing their vulnerabilities. It complements FTA's context- and value-chain-specific findings, and increases the representativeness, coverage and global insights of FTA research. This covers sustainable value chain development for livelihoods, understanding the changing dynamics of local, regional and global trade in shea and their cumulative impacts on women producers. It also identifies how inclusive business models and markets, as well as gender-equitable resource management strategies, can be leveraged for inclusive rural development. An integrated approach to understanding new shea market dynamics assists in strengthening women’s' organization in shea value chains through, for example, aggregation of shea groups, greater leadership roles and access to more affordable accreditation. This in turn, enables women as well as men to play significant roles in the regeneration of shea parklands with improved genetic material through co-financing.


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