Initially the project began with SFC and A Rocha visiting the community of Murugu in November of 2019 and spoke with the community about the needs of a shea butter processing center and possible land sites it could be built on. Murugu agreed to be a part of a CREMA. The CREMA agreement gives communities the authority to manage and make decisions on the use of natural resources in their geographic region. The Murugu-Mognori CREMA is one of four located within the eastern boundary of Mole National Park. The CREMAs are now committed to protect the natural resources in their geographic area in exchange for Conservation Premiums paid by SFC.
Government led CREMAs provide projects to communities that incentivize alternative income sources to unsustainable and harmful activities such as charcoal-burning, logging and wildlife poaching. Buy in from the communities is necessary to proceed with a successful CREMA agreement. The two communities of Murugu and Mognori saw the value of creating a CREMA to their communities and allowed SFC and the other partners to move forward with building the processing center.
The community showed SFC different land options that would work and agreed on the two acres of land of what is now the Murugu Organic Shea Butter Processing Center. SFC created the blueprint of the layout of the processing center for A Rocha, who was tasked to find a suitable contractor to build the physical structures needed for the center. SFC’s specialized staff continued to act as technical advisors on this initiative. They gave technical expertise to the community on the details of what is needed to set up a successful organic shea butter processing center. SFC staff made countless trips to Murugu to meet with the community women. They were properly trained on how to use and maintain the equipment and property in a sustainable manner. Our staff organized several trainings for 32 community women on the various stages of organic shea butter production so they are now experts themselves.
During the festivities of handing over the center to the CREMA located in Murugu and Mognori, a Conservation Agreement between the CREMAs, the Savannah Fruits Company and A Rocha Ghana was signed. This document commits the three organizations to a long-term sustainable partnership of working towards sustainability.
There are over 300 women who will be involved in producing organic shea butter at the new processing center. Over 820 women will be collecting shea nuts and around 1,000+ women will be impacted from over eight different cooperatives. This new opportunity greatly improves the ability to generate an income throughout the year for women in region. SFC is proud to be part of this economic empowerment and environmentally friendly initiative. This is only the beginning of a fruitful relationship between SFC and the CREMA at Murgu!