Promoting Business Services in Mali's Shea Butter Subsector, AFE, Eric Derks, 2004

    The AFE-Mali project to promote business services to shea butter producers began late in 2002 and is due to conclude in 2005. An assessment of the shea subsector showed that shea producers lacked access to higher-value markets and needed quality management services to help meet market standards. The assessment also showed that subsector intermediaries - shea butter and shea kernel exporters - were best positioned to provide such services and benefit from increased sales of a better quality product.

    AFE-Mali's project works in a single subsector, or value-chain, that extends from rural Malian producers of shea kernels and shea butter to large-scale, international manufacturers of chocolate and cosmetic products. By facilitating connections between the exporters and foreign buyers and exporters' capacity to manage shea butter quality, the project team anticipated that the exporters would invest time and resources working with shea butter producers to improve product quality.

    The case study takes a close look at the progression and changes made in AFE-Mali's facilitation activities to reach this objective. For "What's New" vistors, the case as been updated and finalized from the version previously posted.