A socio-economic analysis of the emerging Shea value chain in Northern region, Ghana

Thumbnail Image
February, 2015
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The shea VC chain in the Northern Region comprises varied actors including shea nut collectors and/ processors of kernel, shea kernel traders, shea butter processors and shea butter traders with perceived disproportionate variations among the actors in terms of profit margins distribution. This study examines the emerging shea value chain in the Northern Region of Ghana, with emphasis on shea butter processors. Specifically, the study investigates the effects of group formation on shea butter processors participation in the shea value chain and aims to compare shea butter processors operating in groups and shea butter processors operating individually with regards to specific variables such as costs, profit margins and outputs. The analysis in this study involved mapping the shea supply chain and assessing the profit margins and cost structures of the actors at different segments of the chain. Using gross margin analysis and independent sample t-tests results the study revealed that butter processors bear the largest share of cost and receive the lowest profit margin. The independent t- test results show significant differences in profit margins between butter processors operating in groups and butter processors operating individually. Beyond these empirical findings the study also shed light on the issue of governance and upgrading as it relates to the shea value chain in the Northern Region, highlighting various lead firms and auxiliary organizations in the chain and the role they play in the governance and upgrading process in the shea value chain in the Northern Region.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana in fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Philosophy, 2015