Enhancement of the shea sector in the Siby municipality

Initiated by the shea producers assisted by communal actors, the project started with the identification of the main challenges the sector has to face during diagnosis workshops. From these workshops emerged two priority activities: strengthening the position of women in the productive sector and ensure a sustainable exploitation of the shea resource.

At the producers’ level, a cooperative of 1,245 women has emerged with the support of ACOD for producing improved shea butter, pomade and soap.

At the resource level, initial diagnosis led the ACOD and actors to develop a common plan of action designed to better manage and protect shea parks, a pattern reflected in the Economic, Social and Cultural Development Program of the Siby community.

Conducting a study on the potential of shea park and state has allowed communities to understand the seriousness of threats: old trees, high parasitism levels, small number of seedlings and so forth.
After consultation between all the communities involved: farmers, ranchers, state services and so forth, a Convention of Local Natural Resources Management was developed and adopted in a participatory way.

The application of this agreement was made possible with the implementation in each village of a Supervisory Committee and support (CVSA) and the training of its members on the role of monitoring and advisory support for maintenance and regeneration of the park. A program of information and training has also been set up to familiarize communities with the content of the Convention and to raise awareness on harmful practices in the preservation of the resource.

Finally, collaboration with Research services (ICRAF) has helped train members of the CVSA on various silvicultural techniques to regenerate the park, courses they are in charge of disseminating to all producers.

Ultimately, this experience has allowed to observe the high degree of awareness in communities in the area of Siby concerning the protection of park shea: community work to get rid of the tree parasites, over 20,000 natural seedlings protected, production of nearly 15,000 other seedlings in nurseries and much less late bush fires recorded in the community.

Shea and young girls’ education

The Cooperative of shea butter women producers of Siby municipality wants to reinforce its contribution in promoting women and daughter’s education in Siby municipality. To support its members, the COOPROKASI identified a project for girls’ education that focuses on increasing school access as well as providing them with school grants for them to pursue their studies.

In Siby, less than 20% of girls will attend high-school for multiple reasons:

  1. The lack of revenue allocated by the family to children’s education;
  2. The fact that men are not engaged in the education of girls because of social considerations that are anchored in the customs. The destiny of a girl is dictated by her mother;
  3. An important amount of work in the household is done by girls;
  4. The difficult access to school because of the far distance between the school and the household;
  5. The girls are sexually active very young and often abandon school because of early pregnancy.

Actions taken by Siby’s Cooperative

Siby and its surroundings is an eco-touristic area in development with its well preserved natural sites. Therefore, the Cooperative has seen an opportunity to create, under the same roof as la Maison du Karité, an eco-museum on shea, which revenues will be entirely dedicated to financing an education grant program for girls.

The shea eco-museum will be an area that will allow visitors to learn more on the shea tree, its benefis and how the resource has been protected since the beginning of time. The eco-museum will also show the techniques for collecting and treating the nuts and the techniques of transformation of nuts into butter. There will be an area of demonstration of the butter transformation.

ACOD, the non-profit organisation that supports La Maison du karité is currently looking for partners to help finance the projects.

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