The problematic

The production of shea butter, used in cosmetics, requires heat. The women producing this butter receive little for their product while the wastes from the entire process are usually let on site or burnt using an open fire. Meanwhile, the shea trees, that takes very long to grow before producing, are cut to generate charcoal, reducing the shea production.

The solution

GECA suggested to exploit the wastes through their transformation into biochar to generate the energy needed and to apply in soil for improving crop productivity. The women were trained on using a pyrolytic efficient small kiln to make this biochar while some men were trained to build the kilns.

The impact

The women decreased their production expenses and improved their revenues by selling the biochar. It resulted in improved odor in the surrounding, decreased open fire, health risk and pollution, and improve soils productivity. These activities protect the shea trees that generate the revenue.