To improve the socioeconomic status of the rural women in Ullo, our team of 10 will take the appropriate steps to ensure our process runs smoothly and effectively. In the present moment, we are researching and implementing drying and storing processes for over (estimated) 1600 metric tonnes of shea nuts.

For our future ambitions, we are looking into potential buyers for the product, scholarships and grants, and other potential contributors. Many of the project tasks are in the research and data collection phase. At the end of our project, we hope to have the right amount of resources to support the creation of a well-structured women’s group plus a mobile processing unit which will be instrumental in accomplishing our final goal. Through our organization’s process and innovative technology, we have found the potential to raise the wages for women of Ullo by 2,342%. However, we face a financial barrier, as this project can cost upwards of $115,000 to fully implement.

  1. Market Analysis
  2. Drying Process
  3. Storing Process
  4. Product Process
  5. Design of a mobile processing system
  6. Legal Process
  7. Product Research
  8. Buyer Relations
    Community Relations
  9. Scholarship
  10. Communications
  11. Market Analysis
A picture taken after a focus group discussion during the shea nut post-harvest assessment survey

Using data collected across the country of Ghana through several trusted sources, we have tracked the profit potential of the shea product in Ullo, Tamale, and Accra based on the average annual gross product collected in the Ullo region. Additionally, we have collaborated with transporters in Ghana to account near-estimated pricing of in-country shipping, and Global Shea Alliance executives and Ghana Shea Network executives, to continue the research in regards to market competition and potential product buyers.

Trip Report: 2019/2020

We met with several of the women’s groups in the Ullo region and were able to see how they were storing their shea nuts. The Ullo-Dhantie area had nuts stored in 3 classrooms at the Ullo Senior High School. These nuts were very damaged and rotting. We found that many of these nuts were dried inside on concrete, and mice/bugs are in the piles. The neighbouring burrow women had their nuts stored in a shed in the simple plastic woven bags, again with many bugs and cracked nuts.
We also recorded the humidity of the shea nuts being stored openly in the classroom. We took x3 50 kg test samples from this abundance and organized them into 3 different storing bags (a jute sack, polypropylene bag, and a hermetic bag). The nuts were to be stored until our proposed summer travels (May 2020) which by then, the nuts would have been stored for 6 months. Because summer travel was suspended, we asked the women to send pictures of the different bags, and give a brief description of the quality within these bags. It was found that all bugs were killed inside of the hermetic bag, and there were live bugs in the tradition and single-layered woven plastic bags.

Way forward

We are asking the women to process portions of these samples separately, to see the inner quality of the shea oil and butter from these nuts that were stored in the respective bags. We are working on getting 100 PICS bags for the shea women to use in the 2020 harvest season. Arrangements are also being made to get tarps to aid in the safe drying of harvest shea.

Areas for Collaboration

  1. Check-ins with the contractors on construction projects
  2. Staying in contact with the community
  3. Consultation regarding building designs, techniques, and materials.

August, 2021 

The Engineers Without Borders (EWB) KNUST chapter, embarked on a journey to Ullo, a small farming community in the Upper West Region of Ghana. A team of 5 people embarked on the trip. The trip team consisted of 2 students, a faculty advisor, a project coordinator and a driver. The trip was embarked on to provide training for the natives of Ullo on post-harvest loss mitigation using a PICS bag for storage of grains and nuts.

Find below a report on what happened during the training.