African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6801

Full Length Research Paper

Shea butter processing as an engine of poverty reduction in Northern Ghana: Case study of four communities in the Bolgatanga Municipality

Alena Hatskevich
  • Alena Hatskevich
  • Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Prague 6 - Suchdol, Czech Republic.
  • Google Scholar
Karel Srnec
  • Karel Srnec
  • Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129,165 21 Prague 6 - Suchdol, Czech Republic.
  • Google Scholar
Joseph Eminzang Essilfie
  • Joseph Eminzang Essilfie
  • Electricity Company of Ghana, P. O. Box 2394, Accra East Region, Accra.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 10 June 2014
  •  Accepted: 09 September 2014
  •  Published: 20 October 2014


Peasant farming had been seen for many years as a means of fighting rural poverty in the Sub-Saharan zone of Africa. With the passing of time, new researches had shown that the notion is fading off since studies have established that only a small percentage of those farms have seen expansion and intensification leaving the rest stagnated with lowering productivity, decrease in size and low output. Alternative sources of rural income are therefore important to determine for specific locations. This paper looks at the effects of shea butter processing on rural household income in four: communities in the Sumbrungu area of the Bolgatanga Municipality of the Upper East Region of Ghana. Regression analysis performed indicated that shea butter processing activity in the selected communities is a signification source of income as compared to the official minimum daily wage in Ghana. The main factors that influence income of shea producer households are the size of the household, quantity of shea butter produced, farming activity and number of employed members of the household. The location of a community with respect to Atolesum community also has effect on shea butter producer household income. Notwithstanding the potential of the shea industry in poverty reduction, challenges like lack of financial support, lack of ready market, high cost of machinery and others are making the women not fully utilizing the potential of the industry. Governmental as well as Non-Governmental support is therefore needed to put the shea industry in its right place in poverty reduction efforts.


Key words: Shea butter producers, households, communities, household income, Ghana, poverty.