Starting in 2012, SNV Mali Agriculture Programme for Strengthening the Economic Power of Women through Sesame, Oilseeds & Shea (PREFOSEK) aims to strengthen the economic power of at least 15,000 women in South Mali by developing and promoting their marketing and leadership skills.
SNV Mali in collaboration with technical and financial partners such as CECI, PAFA, Shea Project and SOCODEVI support the direct and indirect stakeholders of the shea sector in their internal organisation leading to the creation of a Shea inter-professional organisation. The inter-professional organisation offers to the various "professional families" of the sector the opportunity to meet together in a single consultation platform which will strengthen the partnership between economic actors and give them the tools needed to conduct advocacy activities for the promotion of a favourable institutional environment.
The establishment of the inter-professional organisation has considerable advantages which toughen stakeholders in their willingness to work for the emergence of the sector. It will lead to a formal dialogue framework for developing joint plans for production, processing and marketing of shea. It will allow different categories of economic actors of the sector to have better visibility and understanding of the costs of production, processing and marketing; to formalise professional sales and purchases contracts between "professional families" with well determined, clear, and harmonised margins; to control statistics of exports and to ensure that their quality obey the buyers standards.
To reach that objective, several steps have been implemented.
Gathered in a first workshop in April 2012, thirty representatives of the Rural Economic Organisations identified, determined and categorised three professional families based on their position within the sector. These are the producers, the processors and the traders/exporters. Besides, a Shea Initiative Committee was established as the steering body for the implementation process of the project in accordance with a roadmap to be developed. The committee comprises 19 members (9 women) from the three professional groups.
In May 2012, the second workshop allowed the entire members of the Shea Initiative Committee to develop a roadmap (actions and expected results) together with a timetable of work broken down into tasks:
The third workshop in June 2012 had set the objective of improving the visibility of members of the Shea Initiative Committee, through a better understanding of texts and processes in view of local and regional consultations. The Committee members were able to improve their knowledge of the texts and on the shea value chain in force in Mali.
Following the development of the knowledge of the members of the Initiative Committee, a fourth activity focused on supporting the development and presentation of the inter-professional organisation strategy paper on July 19th, 2012. The presentation of the capacity building document was made by the Initiative Committee in front of 20 Technical and Financial Partners. The document includes 05 strategic objectives:
An agenda of exchange visit in the production areas was developed and will begin by the end of August 2012.