Nov 03, 2021 — West Africa Soy Industries Limited (WASIL), a member of the Tropical General Investment (TGI) group, has joined the Global Shea Alliance (GSA).
The company has registered as a sustainable partner in accordance with its commitment to stimulate local added value and contribute to the sustainable development of the Nigerian shea sector.
Over the next two years, the TGI Group, through WASIL’s partnership with the GSA, will support 10,000 women shea collectors and processors in the states of Niger, Kebbi and Kwara.
A boost for women’s empowerment
The public-private partnership will strengthen women’s business skills, give them access to storage facilities, connect them directly to markets and strengthen their capacity to effectively manage shea parks.
These efforts are part of the USAID-funded Sustainable Shea Initiative aimed at improving market access and profitability for women.
“We are very happy to see industry leaders taking action and investing in sustainability,” said Simballa Sylla, President of GSA.
Speaking on the partnership with TGI, Sylla said it will not only contribute to the development of the shea sector in Nigeria, but also to the achievement of the GSA’s 2020-2025 strategic objectives – increasing local added value by 50%. and empower over 500,000 women and improve community resilience.
“We maintain our goal of promoting the sustainability of the shea sector through the empowerment of women collectors, the conservation of parks and the planting of seedlings,” adds Osenaga Umobuarie, sustainability manager at TGI.
This project encompasses sensitive areas that require special attention, and TGI is “very happy” to work with GSA to positively and in the long term impact the shea sector and its beneficiaries, she underlines.
Demand for shea is increasing
Shea is a fatty ingredient of plant origin widely used in chocolate products, where it provides texture and functionality.
AAK recently expanded its Kolo Nafaso shea supply program to support the growing demand for ethically produced chocolate.
Meanwhile, in June, FoodIngredientsFirst reported that GSA has implemented a resilient shea agroforestry farm (RSAFM) model in Nigeria. The project assesses the economic benefits of resilient shea agroforestry farm models among shea producing communities and improves the capacity of stakeholders for easy replication in the region.
The GSA also revealed that July is Shea Month dedicated to the protection of shea parks. Shea Month aims to raise awareness of the need to grow more trees to protect parks and promote industry sustainability.
Edited by Elizabeth Green
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