First exported to Liverpool, UK, over a 100 years ago as a fat for used in edible ‘margarine’, shea has been internationally traded and regularly utilized for the last 50-60 years in confectionaries, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
As international demand for shea has increased rapidly over the last couple of decades, so have concerns over sustainable resource use during shea processing since large amounts of labour, water and energy are used during both sheanut processing and butter production.


The specific objectives of the proposed field-based study are:

o To understand patterns of household and shea producers energy behaviour in homes and within associations to help inform stove choices and improve long term adoption

o To test stove applicability for agricultural processing in particular shea butter production

o To assess stove durability in real-life scenarios

o To better capture and understand household members role in usage and adoption of improved cookstoves for both nut processing and household cooking

o To improve local monitoring and evaluation capacity to measure combustible consumption, exposure and adoption of improved cookstoves

Shea butter production Mali

Our intervention, services provided

Testing and R&D

To offer the technology the most appropriate to the shea butter producer, the study pilot plans to improve the existing devices through testing and R&D

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Research & Advocacy

To bring accurate data to the study and find the comprehension keys to analyse in-depth the data collected. Also, to inform about the improved cookstoves benefits compared with the traditional devices they are accustomed to using

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Access to Finance

The study will provide some financing options the shea butter producers can access or explore to move forward and become at last sustainable

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Monitoring & Evaluation

For the quality to be sustainable, the producers have to ensure the cookstove quality all along the value chain and implement good practices and lessons to ensure the production quality

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Katene Kadji

Traditionally harvested by millions of women from parkland-managed trees, across vast swathes of Africa savannah, shea butter is possibly one of Mankind’s most ancient of edible vegetable oils. It has been documented by famous explorers for centuries, the vegetable oil – hand-extracted from the boiled, sun-dried kernels of the shea fruit – is traditionally utilized in sub-Saharan Africa for food, skin-care and medicines. It is probable that shea has been consumed for millennia with archaeological proof for shea parklands in northern Burkina Faso dating back over 1,000 years and growing evidence that shea was well known to the ancient Egyptians over 6,000 years ago.


The actual pilot specifically targets the shea value chain in Mali in order to verify the final decisions in developing a Carbon Neutral Shea Butter Value Chain. This study, implemented by StovePlus  will work on reducing fuel consumption, and thus carbon emissions, during the two largest carbon emitting stages in the shea production and processing supply chain the post harvesting processing and the butter production, through the provision and utilization of improved “rocket” cookstoves and or other efficient cookstoves like gasifiers that are appropriate and acceptable to the women and households involved in the shea value chain.
Facing traditional habits and stoves, the final devices should convince the end-users to be adopted thanks to its cleaner and more efficient characteristic.