Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems
The AFE-Mali project to promote business services to producers of shea butter in Mali began in late 2002 and will conclude in 2005. An assessment of the subsector showed that shea producers lacked access to higher value markets and needed quality management services to help meet market standards. The assessment also showed that subsector intermediaries–exporters of shea butter and shea kernels–were best positioned to provide such services and benefit from increased sales of a better-quality product. By facilitating exporters’ capacity to connect with foreign buyers and manage shea butter quality, the project team anticipated that exporters would invest time and resources working with producers to improve product quality. The following case study takes a closer look at the progression of and changes to the facilitation activities that supported this objective.