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Single mothers get a stable income

Members of the Upper East Single Mothers Association have received training in shea nuts harvest practices and processing to help them improve their products and get a stable income

Anaamah Apate, a single mother of four, was struggling to generate enough income for her family. The small money she made through selling baskets barely covered her food expenses so she needed a more sustainable solution.

In 2009, she joined the Upper East Single Mothers Association in the Upper East Region. The association helps single mothers with income-generating activities. Their main focus is rice and shea butter but they also sell corn, groundnuts, and baskets.

“It is only after I started here, where we get paid every time we process that I’m able to take care of my children,” Anaamah Apate, 58, explains.

The union members are divided into teams that rotate around the different processing stations. During the harvest season, Anaamah Apate works there five days a week.

New ways of processing

The association had a major challenge when it came to their shea butter processing: the quality was not good enough because the women lacked the necessary knowledge on harvest practices and processing. They, therefore, decided to apply for a grant from the Skills Development Fund (SDF). SDF supports business operations in both formal and informal sectors. The fund’s overall goals include increasing productivity, practical innovations as well as management and coaching support to help improve businesses competitiveness in Ghana and globally.

In 2018, the fund granted the association money to finance a trainer who could pass on his knowledge.

“After the training, the quality of our products have improved a lot. Visually, it looks much better which makes it easier for us to sell, and more people also come back to buy again,” Anaamah Apate tell.

A total of 64 members, including Anaamah Apate, participated in the initial training. The members now pass on their knowledge to the other shea butter extractors.
The SDS is funded by Danida and the Ministry of Education of Ghana.

Anaamah Apate has participated in the SDF-funded shea butter training

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