Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Livelihood for Rural Women through Shea Butter Cultivation and Processing in OkeOgun Area, Oyo State
Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Livelihood for Rural Women through Shea Butter Cultivation and Processing in OkeOgun Area, Oyo State
Oke Ogun area (the North-Western Part) of Oyo state of Nigeria( Oke Ogun areas comprises of 8 Local Governments area but the Project will be implemented in 3 LGAs) In the 1970s. Men and women inOke Ogun region of Oyo State were actively engaged in Agro forestry business being in the boundary of Forest zone and the Guinea Savannah belt of the country. Shea Butter Industry was very active andas at the peak in the early 1970s. Anecdotal evidence and previous researches showed that in the 1970s, Shea Butter products were exported to Benin, Togo and Ghana from the project zones. However, due to the laborious nature of Shea Butter Processing, and the easy and cheap income that Charcoal production offers, most men and women who were involved in this region gradually abandoned the business and adopted felling of woodlots to produce charcoal in large quantities. Oriola and Omofeyewa(2013)Today, Charcoal is produced in this region and transported to cities like Ibadan, Lagos and other areas. Research have also shown that charcoal production is both unsustainable and detrimental to the environment and the economy of the project area. This is manifested in the fact that the income generated from charcoal production is dwindling as there are fewer tree stands for the business while the soil is continuously degraded to support meaningful agriculture. Oriola and Omofeyewa(2013) evaluated the impact of charcoal production on the soil and the rural economy of Oke Ogun area of Oyo State and recommended that such unsustainable practices should be discouraged while, Adeyemo . (2015) computed the potential economic benefits of Shea Butter processing to the people of Oke Ogun and recommended considerable investments on reactivating Shea Butter Production in this region. There is a need to reengage, encourage and reactivate women who were previously engaged in Shea Butter Business to return to the more profitable, sustainable and environmental friendly business and discourage production of charcoal in the region through introduction of efficient domestic energy approach. Though in this area lands predominantly belong to men, therefore men shall be engaged and ecounraged to participate in the cultivation and nucturing of the trees for their spouses and daughters. The business of Shea butter processing is almost exclusively for women but men take care of the trees

2. Key Outputs, Outcomes and Innovations
There were several key output and outcomes of the project but they can be succinctly presented as follows
Key Outputs
Shea Butter production Key Outputs
• High grade Shea butter extracts was achieved thereby reducing waste discharge into the environment
• Shea butter factory installed was able to achieve 67% Shea oil from the seed thereby encouraging efficient use of renewable natural resources
• Shea Butter Seedlings distributed to farmers in for focused afforestation programme.
• Women groups were organized into bankable cooperative society for sustainability of the project
• The beneficiaries (women and men) were trained on Shea butter packaging and marketing.
• Women groups were introduced to new business model and marketing strategies
• Waste debris from Shea butter used to produce Biomass energy thereby reducing environmental pollution
• 509 women and men were trained on the processing of high grade extracts from Shea butter seeds and less waste is discharged into the environment
• Shea Butter wastes discharged into the river channels were evacuated and re-used for Biomass briquette
• 4 women groups trained on Packaging and branding of products
• 7,027 Seedlings of Shea Butter were distributed to local farmers thereby encouraging afforestation and replacement of depleting tree stands

Charcoal production Key Outputs
• Landuse/Land Cover analyses conducted showed high depletion rate of vegetal cover from charcoal production
• The contributions of Domestic energy to Vegetal degradation were shared with policy makers and other stakeholders
• The charcoal producers were aware of the unsustainability of their business and were trained on the production of biomass energy
• 213 Young women and men were trained on the production of biomass briquette
• 24 families purchased Subsidized Briquette stoves
• 4 Women associations were introduced to new business model and marketing strategies
• Training of trainers was organized for volunteers to train others on Biomass briquette production from agro- residues and domestic wastes
• Awareness campaign to encourage citizen to use biomass briquette from Agro residues in place of fuel wood or Charcoal
• Briquette production centers established in Three communities to train women and produce biomass briquettes in large quantities
• mini factory constructed for the selected charcoal producers
• Biomass energy Briquette was introduced to local, Ibadan and Lagos Markets
• Packaging for briquette introduced to the producers
• Briquette stoves were introduced to residents in the project area

• Significant Outcomes were
• The livelihood skills of shea butter producers were enhanced thus alleviating poverty of more than 500 families through new approach to processing, packaging and marketing shea products.
• More environmental friendly businesses were introduced in the communities
• Safe discharge of Shea Waste was embraced by majority of the women group in the project area
• Significant Number of charcoal producers in the project area have ventured into Briquette production in the project area
• Farmers in the project area understand the economic importance of the Shea tree and have understanding of how to care for them
• Significant part of the farmers in the project area understand the importance of environmental conservation and the need for afforestation in the savanna region where the project is situated
• Women group were organized into bankable cooperatives
• Tree planting exercises encouraged the farmers on the importance of tree planting to the environment and soil fertility
• Women in the communities understood and practice team bonding and team work for environmental improvement
• Women and Men in the project areas understood the negative effects of their activities on the environment and have capacities to deploy appropriate response

Environmental Impact
• Prior to the inception of the project there have been several complaints of indiscriminate discharge of shea waste into the surface water which compromised the health conditions of the rural communities. In fact the king of Tede ( Onitede of Tede) has instructed that no one should process shea butter in the town but they should move to he outskirts of the town. While many moved, they just relocated to the bank of the main river in the town thereby rending the water from the river unsafe for consumption. The project is located at the outskirt of the town but introduced a processing method that reduced the toxic waste components by more than 35%

• What measurable impact has the project had in terms of environmental protection since the beginning of the project? Where possible, please provide statistics and numbers that document the change or impact of the project over time.
The waste products of the shea are now being molded into biomass briquette while adding a little charcoal dust and this will in no time evacuate the waste already discharged into the surface water
The introduction of biomass briquette from agro resides and wastes will significantly reduce pressures on the existing wood lot that people in the project area cut down indiscriminately to make charcoal. The women group saw the new approach of briquette making as more convenient and readily available raw materials for their businesses

Socio-economic impacts
• There is no official figure of the poverty level of the project area but anecdotal reports of past project indicated more than 75% of the people in the project area live in extreme poverty. The poverty condition in the project area is more obvious among women and youth who have no visible means of income. Though majority of the women in the project area engage in the two major businesses in the area which are shea butter and charcoal production, most women work as labor and hands because they lack capital to invest in the business. In some cases the middle men from the cities come with money and ripped off the local women who have no capital to invest just offering their labor.
• However, the project made significant input in the micro economy of households especially among the beneficiaries within the community. The project constructed a modern shea production factory and the equipped the factory with necessary machinery. The women in the beneficiary group were allowed to process their shea at a highly subsidized level. CHUSSDEV also donated 100 bags of Shea seeds to the team as a takeoff grant for them to finance the maintenance of the equipment and also have seed capital to access loan at the Bank of Agriculture.
• It is however too early to measure the impact on the income of individual household but it is certain that the incomes of the women beneficiaries will be significantly enhanced in the medium and long run of the project
• The intervention among the charcoal producers is also significant, the women in the project area considered the production of Charcoal as energy sapping and very laborious. When the production fo Briquette was introduced to the women group they all acknowledged that the Briquette is better, easier to produce and more likely to yield better income. The only challenge is the acceptability of the product in the market. If the challenge is overcome production of biomass briquette will significantly boost the economy of household in Oke ogun in general because most families have someone engaged in charcoal production in the communities
• When the projct run for about two years it is certain that the beneficiaries will have increase capacity to pay children school fees and accord a better living condition

Policy Impacts
• The project engaged the local government executives and personnel for the purpose of upscaling and entrenching conservation policy in the rural bye laws. The engagement include meetings, workshops and key informant discussions on the best way to reduce fuel wood harvest in the project area with the view of turning agro wastes and the byproducts of Shea butter to biomass energy briquette . The policy makers in the two Local Government Councils ( Atisbo and Shaki West ) accepted and keyed into the project ideal and promised to support the women groups whose are currently engaged in the proton of charcoal in developing machines that can produce biomass briquette. Further engagement will definitely result in policy shift in the Local government areas and ultimately the state will enact conservation friendly policy and executive order. Currently one of our major key linkage with the traditional rulers and the community has been appointed as the commissioner of commerce in Oyo state and we are partnering with him( Mr Adeniyi Adebisi ) to use his office to scale up the success of the project in his area

• It was noted that the success recorded was influenced by the smooth previous relationship we CHUSSDEV had with the community when project on artisanal miners was implemented by the community.

• We engaged the community leaders and leaders of women group before and during the implementation of the project. The leaders contacted include the leadership of Shea Butter Association, and Charcoal Producer Association in the selected communities

• The incidence of COVID 19 at the tail end of the project implementation hinder the project implementation team to carry out the needed Monitoring and evaluation of the project

• CHUSSDEV solicited for more fund from its partners and this helped us to construct a mini factory for the communities where the equipment were installed, However the money sourced could not provide necessary facilities such as borehole though we have carried out the geologic survey of the site but we need resources to sink borehole and install pumping machine for the people so that the quality of the shea products from the community could be export grade.

• We also had constraint in linking the community to international market because we are yet to secure NAFDAC registration for the products from the community. We have commenced the process of registration but the standard of the factory is not yet satisfactory to the regulating agency therefore we are working on upgrading the facilities in the factory to make it compliance with the specification of the regulatory body

• We also have issues resolving the crisis generated in the communities because the registered members on the project are less than half of the people engaged in the production of the shea butter in the community. Therefore if we secure NAFDAC approvals for one of the producers on our factory, it is possible that the other producers in the community could supply less quality product and label it Tede Shea Butter which may rubbish all gains from the project. We have commenced a process of engaging other stakeholders in the community to ensure upscaling the quality of their production in order to get linked with the network of buyers across the country and outside.

• There is no national or regional effects pf the project currently but we have commenced a process of linking the beneficiaries to the national association of she butter producers so they can get registered and been from the opportunities accruable to the association at the national level.

On the effects on biodiversity, the project through the training of charcoal producers on the production of biomass energy briquette from agro residues and farm waste , have tremendously influenced reduction in the deforestation and fuel wood harvest in the community. We hope that in the near future the use of biomass briquette will replace fuel wood and charcoal in the project area and in Oyo state. There is gradual but progressive adoption of the new method of domestic biomass energy in Oke Ogun area of the state

• Majority 85% of the beneficiaries of the project are women and they were involved in the proposal writing through identification of their specific challenges in the production of the she butter and the Charcoal production. They were involved in the planning and implementation of the project. The project used the existing executive members of the Shea Butter Associations hubs in the communities and the executive of each group was selected to coordinate the project. The same applied to the Charcoal producers whose lady chairperson coordinated the programme throughout the season.
• The beneficiaries who are male are principally the farmers that were selected to plant the seedlings of sea butter in their respective farms and the young men that are involved in operation the equipment and machines installed in the factory
• The number of women that are direct beneficiaries of the project are 313 women in the shea butter and 57 women in the Charcoal business. The indirect beneficiaries of the project include the workers, labour marketers and resellers, labour in the two industries that the project intervened. we have about 900 indirect beneficiaries in the Shea butter business and 1002 in the charcoal business
• SGP assisted in providing training on the environment and climate change to the people. There was no need for gender mainstreaming on the project because majority of the beneficiaries are women and they coordinated most of the activities of the events. The businesses are known in the project area to be women business therefore few men in the business are usually in the operation of the machine
• Other gender based training was provided in house to the people on women empowerment and access to loan facilities specifically for women in agriculture from the Bank of Agriculture

• SGP staff visited the project areas more than seven times and engaged the people in different aspect of gender based barriers to accessing funds and gender gaps in project financing on shea butter and the charcoal production. The importance of the environmental conservation were reiterated by staff form SGP and the community area well aware of the importance of responsible use of the environmental resources
• SGP profoundly assisted us in engaging the women and pointed out other opportunities for the women to scue assistance from the government and other NGOs on their project. SGP has formed strategic partnership with CHUSSDEV to reach out to the critically vulnerable member of the group to enable the upscale their livelihood skills and marketing strategies to sell their products

Indigenous Peoples
• The project was implemented in the remote part of Oyo state Tede. Particularly Atisbo Local Government is a predominantly rural local government in Oyo state and is full of Yoruba ethnic stock. CHSSDEV was able to penetrate the project area because all the staff member deployed on the project are Yoruba therefore it was easy to communicate with the communities and we also showed them videos of success stories on other indigenous communities such as Bangladesh and other Asian Rural countries. Particularly the Charcoal producers were shown the procedures for producing Biomass briquette in rural India and the community were very excited and were fast in adopting the approach introduced to them
• 100% of the direct beneficiaries are indigenous people who were born and live in the rural communities of the project

Marginalised Groups
There were some members of the cooperatives that have some form of deficiencies in hearing therefore in all our workshops we got an expert in sign language to interpret therefore the three of them that had issues hearing were also captured in our training
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Project Snapshot

Centre for Human Settlements and Sustainable Developments
Area Of Work:
Climate Change Mitigation
Grant Amount:
US$ 49,960.00
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 10,551.90
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed

Grantee Contact

Prof Oluwaseyi Fabiyi
Phone: 08034085463


No 3 Romokeedu street GRA Osogbo
Osogbo , Osun State ,

SGP Country office contact

Mrs Ibironke Olubamise
Ms Rose Agbo


C/O UN House, 617/618 Diplomatic Zone, Central Business District, FCT
Abuja, West Africa, 90001