An estimated 600,000 women across West Africa depend on the shea butter industry as their sole source of cash income. Globally, the demand for shea continues to increase yet the overall yields from shea trees have decreased, threatening the livelihoods of farmers across the country. Beekeeping can help solve this problem. Not only can beekeeping help farmers diversify their incomes, the pollination from beehives can boost shea crop yields by up to 30 percent.
“The USAID Burt’s Bees SheKeeper activity will foster community and commercial partnerships with shea-producing women’s groups by introducing the multi-generational practice of beekeeping. Beekeeping opens opportunities for greater economic empowerment of women and youth and increased biodiversity for future generations.”
Shannon hEssBurt’s Bees Director of Responsible Sourcing
Our Solution & Impact:
USAID’s West Africa Trade & Investment Hub and Burt’s Bees, a U.S.-based personal care products company, are co-investing in the Ghanaian beekeeping industry. Through the partnership, Burt’s Bees will work with 1,200 Ghanaian shea farmers in its supply chain to pilot a beekeeping project, providing equipment, training, and export opportunities. Burt’s Bees will then purchase and export all shea and beeswax from these groups, giving farmers a reliable and sustainable market to sell their products moving forward and strengthening Burt’s Bees supply chain. This co-investment will boost the value of shea and beeswax exports to the United States by over $1 million during the next two years.
“This partnership with Burt’s Bees will increase private investment and demonstrate that shea collectors can profitably produce and sell beeswax, shea, and honey to meet growing demand for these commodities. Additional private investment by Burt’s Bees will create greater economic opportunities and a better quality of life for more of the 16 million women collecting and processing shea across 21 African countries.”
sHANNON cROMERUSAID/Ghana Mission Director