The Shea Economic Empowerment Program (SEEP)

Improving the livelihoods of women through Shea butter production
2010 SEED Award Winner Sustainable Agriculture Accra, Ghana

The initiative seeks to empower shea butter producers economically by restructuring the Shea Butter supply chain, building capacity among producers and improving production quality to facilitate access to local and international Shea Butter markets. The Shea butter Economic Empowerment Programme (SEEP) business model has four components: 1. Developing trade hubs, storage facilities and distribution centres to promote greater ownership of the supply chain and decrease reliance on middlemen. 2. Provide training for producers to improve agricultural practices and increase productivity. 3. Educate producers in business management to increase financial literacy and promote a better understanding of the Shea Butter market. 4. Engage multiple stakeholders such as government officials, community leaders, buyers and producers to ensure long-term sustainability of the shea butter industry. 

Eco-Inclusive Impacts

Shea SEEP provides social benefits and security to local women while promoting sustainable shea tree planting at the same time improving the livelihoods of shea butter producers.
  • Delivering social benefits and security from dependable income, capacity building and empowerment of women.
  • Enhancing women's contribution to household decision-making.
  • Promoting sustainable shea tree nursery and shea tree plantations.
  • Encouraging sustainable use of woodlots and shea husk residue as an alternative to firewood and charcoal.
  • Ensuring livelihood security for shea butter producers, and greater economic return through control over the supply chain and direct marketing.


This enterprise is supported through its partnerships with various stakeholders, ranging from national and international organisations, investors, research institutes, suppliers, governmental bodies, NGOs, other social and environmental enterprises and more.

PagSung Association is a group of 754 female shea nut producers in the Tamale area of Northern Ghana.

Africa 2000 Network Ghana facilitates the establishment and training of local shea butter producer women in organised groups.

Global Fairness Initiative & SNV Ghana provide capacity building for producers and advise on business plan development and funding.

Synapse Fund provides working capital to agricultural activities as an alternative income source.

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Adisa Lansah Yakubu

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