Market Access Capacity of Women Shea Processors in Ghana

Seidu Al-hassan


Research has shown that in the long run trade liberalisation creates opportunities for competition in terms of product quality and market accessibility. An Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) was launched in 1983 to halt a chronic economic decline in Ghana. Since then the agricultural sector, which is the backbone of the Ghanaian economy, has received great attention in terms of budgetary support, launching of new programmes and investment of significant funds in the rehabilitation of key agricultural projects including the shea industry. The major concern of policymakers and key stakeholders is how to link shea processors majority of whom are women to international market. The critical question addressed in this paper is: What factors affect the ability of women microentrepreneurs in the shea butter sub-sector to take advantage of market opportunities created by trade liberalization? This paper fits cross-sectional data obtained from 413 women microentrepreneurs engaged in shea butter processing into a binary or choice model to arrive at its conclusions. The finding is that the level of entrepreneurs’ education and entrepreneurial skills are the factors that significantly determine the ability of microentrepreneurs to access shea butter market. In order to maximize the export potential of shea butter, it is recommended that policy makers should design policies that will improve the education and entrepreneurial capability of shea processors.


Key words: Market access, Shea butter, Ghana, Probit.

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