This study examined the viability of the shea butter industry in Ghana and the potential for establishing shea tree plantations in Ghana and. The financial costs and returns of establishing shea tree orchards in Ghana were examined. The viability of shea processing was also examined using household level data from 14 shea producing communities. 150 shea butter processors were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaire. Net Present Value (NPV) and Benefit / Cost (B/C) ratio were the analytical techniques used to examine the viability of shea butter processing. NPV and B/C ratios were calculated using different discount rates and compared. The financial analysis of establishing an acre shea tree orchards will generate a net profit of GhÈ»516.33 ($129.08) while a 3 acre farm will generate a profit of GhÈ»23,448.99($5862.25). The NPV of GhÈ» 2909.01, GhÈ»1969.717 and GhÈ»32.2039 at 8%, 15% and 65.69% respectively with B/C ratios of 1.285611, 1.286539, 1.0175 at 8%, 15% and 65.69% discount rates respectively indicated that shea butter processing is generally a viable enterprise. The analysis also indicated that the lower the discount rate as calculated in the cost factor, the higher the viability of the enterprise.
Keywords: Income, Shea cultivar, Shea butter; Shea nut; Shea processing, Women,