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Multimedia Approach Generates Higher Incomes for Women Shea Butter Producers in Mali

Shea butter producers in southern Mali incraesed their income by using technology. Through photos, slides, videos, radio and the internet, shea butter producers learn how to improve the quality of their shea butter, making it easier to sell on national and international markets.

The cooperative COPROKAZAN in Zantiébougou sends trainers to villages to show local producers how they can make shea butter that meets national and international quality standards. They use photos to show good and bad practices. The photos are shown in a PowerPoint presentation that is completely in Bambara, a local language spoken by many shea producers. COPRAKAZAN also airs an informative radio show that reaches producers in 42 villages.

“The presentation really helped me change,” says shea butter producer Rokia Diakité. “Without it, most of my shea would have been rejected.” Producer Korotoumou Mariko agrees: “Thanks to the presentations, we better understood what the cooperative was saying; forecasting, production techniques and other useful information.”

COPROKAZAN is supported by IICD since 2006. The shea butter organisation asked IICD’s help in developing and deploying a strategy on the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for their cooperative. Computers with an internet connection were installed and a group of 15 women were trained to use them.

Also, the women were taught how to update a digital database.  The database is used internally for storing data on the amount of shea butter sold and  member details. COPROKAZAN also set up a website that is mainly used to promote shea butter to buyers.

The shea butter producers are featured in a series of videos produced and filmed by COPROKAZAN.  Advertisements on COPROKAZAN’s activities are also being broadcasted on radio and television. Approximately 350 women benefit directly from this project.

More information about the project and how it benefits villagers in the Zantiébougou community can be read at COPROKAZAN’s website and on the national ICT4D website www.mali-ntic.com (in French).
(Source: ICT4D)

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